Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Littleton W. Tazewell, 12 April 1812

To Littleton W. Tazewell

Monticello. Apr. 12. 12.

Dear Sir

Mr Livingston’s suit having gone off on the plea to the jurisdiction, it’s foundation remains of course unexplained to the public. I therefore concluded to make it public thro’ the ordinary channel of the press. an earlier expectation of recieving the pamphlets, & the desire of sending you one, has delayed, from post to post, my sooner acknoleging the reciept of your letter informing me of the dismission, and the more essential acknolegement of your valuable aid in it, and praying your acceptance of the remuneration I now inclose. I have learnt from all quarters that your argument was among the ablest ever delivered before that court. considering the infinite trouble which the question of right to the Batture, & the immense volume of evidence to be taken in New Orleans, would have given to my counsel and myself, I am well satisfied to be relieved from it, altho’ I had had a strong desire that the public should have been satisfied by a trial on the merits, & the abler discussion of them by my counsel. I have been so long withdrawn from a familiarity with matters of this kind, that I do not know whether what I propose is agreeable to the scale of remuneration for law services now accustomary. if it be not, I pray you to impute it to it’s real cause, ignorance of the present usage, & to be so candid as to drop me a line, and I will make it whatever you would consider as satisfactory. the debt of gratitude is of a different character, and is deeply felt. with the expression of my sense of this be pleased to accept the assurances of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. altho’ the pamphlets have been some weeks at Fredericksbg and expected by every stage, I am still disappointed in recieving them. I detain my letter therefore no longer, but will inclose one separately on it’s arrival.

RC (NjMoHP: Lloyd W. Smith Collection); with postscript added separately to RC and PoC, perpendicularly in left margin; addressed: “Littleton W. Tazewell esq. Norfolk”; franked; postmarked Milton, 12 Apr. 1812; endorsed by Tazewell. PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

The enclosed remuneration was an order on Gibson & Jefferson, not found, for $100 (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1276, TJ to Patrick Gibson, 12 Apr. 1812).

Index Entries

  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; communications between TJ and his counsel concerning search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and legal services for TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; The Proceedings of the Government of the United States, in maintaining the Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi, Adjacent to New-Orleans, against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; and Livingston v. Jefferson search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; letters to search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; TJ pays search
  • The Proceedings of the Government of the United States, in maintaining the Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi, Adjacent to New-Orleans, against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston (Thomas Jefferson); sent to TJ’s lawyers search