Wilmington August 10.
Honored & Dear Sir,
I received under cover from you, the letter of Robt. Johnson of New York, in which he suggests that a certain Oliver Fields may be a material witness, as to the assemblage on Blennerhassets island. This is an important, but at the same time a delicate point for the production of evidence, unless we know precisely that the witness will swear, & also are confident that Burr & his associates cannot corrupt him, as they seem to have done with Genl. Edwd. Tupper whom I discharged from further attendance on the part of the U.S.
We have two positive witnesses to the fact of an armed assemblage & the agent whom I sent to the island writes me that he has ample testimony to support their characters.
I wrote to Mr. Hay not to commence the trial until all our most material witnesses appeared & trust he will not suffer himself to be hurried into the business unprepared. Burr seems as formerly to be listing counsel himself, & has commenced his old games, tho he was before so unsuccessful. I think he will convict himself before the testimony is half finished. By his own conduct at the last term he convinced the most reluctant & unwilling part of the community of his guilt. As to C. Justice Marshall I hear but one sentiment from all sides. I have conversed with a number of judges & with our Chancellor Ridgely, all of them warm Federalists who with one voice condemn his conduct.
I have just returned from our Court of Appeals at Dover where our legislature is in session. Governor Mitchell delivered them a very patriotic message & I believe they will take every step & make the necessary appropriation of money to arm the militia. Even Sussex County seems regenerated by the late British outrage, which I trust will prove an ultimate blessing to this country.
I enclose a letter from Capt. Crowningsheild, in which I find the prudent measures adopted, are just such as he would have advised. It is truly gratifying to find you have steered the very course that gives general satisfaction & that meets the approbation of every good man who has the welfare of his country at heart. I hold myself ready at any moment to leave home, should you think it necessary. Please to remember me particularly to Mrs. Randolph & believe me
Yours Very Sincerly
C. A. Rodney
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.