Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 18 March 1815

To Louis H. Girardin

Monticello. Mar. 18. 15.

Th:J. to mr Girardin.

Your messenger finds me to the elbows in the dust of my book-shelves. I recieved my Catalogue, last night, and have begun the revisal of the shelves to-day. from this small specimen it seems as if it would take me three weeks very laborious work.—I send you 2d Toulongeon, and return your Cahier, with approbation of every thing except as to the detention of the Convention troops, where altho’ I am on your side, yet I think the grounds of the conduct of Congress should be stated. I have not time now to explain, and we must do it vivâ voce. come when it suits you, all days being equal with me; the most convenient hour that of dinner. with respect to whatever I furnish written or verbal, it is my wish you should use it entirely as your own, either verbatim or modified as you please, and without naming me at all, unless for any fact which you think absolutely requires it.—I will search as to the bill for dividing the counties into wards. Accept my friendly salutations.

RC (PPAmP: Thomas Jefferson Papers); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Mr Girardin Glenmore.” Enclosures: (1) François Emmanuel, vicomte de Toulongeon, Histoire de France, depuis la Révolution de 1789 (Paris, 1801–06; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 240; 2d of 2 vols. as bound by TJ). See also TJ’s other copy at MoSW (Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 4 [no. 88]). (2) manuscript, not found, of a portion of Burk, Jones, and Girardin, History of Virginia, vol. 4.

The British and Hessian soldiers who surrendered on 17 Oct. 1777 at the Battle of Saratoga were known as convention troops, and under the terms of surrender they were to be returned to Britain after promising that they would not serve in America during the remainder of the Revolutionary War (Philander D. Chase, “‘Years of Hardships and Revelations’: The Convention Army at the Albemarle Barracks, 1779–1781,” MACH description begins Magazine of Albemarle County History, 1940–  (title varies: issued until 1951 as Papers of the Albemarle County Historical Society) description ends 41 [1983]: 9–53, esp. 12–5). In the concluding volume of Burk, Jones, and Girardin, History of Virginia, Girardin explains the decision of the Continental congress to detain these prisoners in the vicinity of Charlottesville; uses TJ’s own papers as source material; and quotes TJ’s correspondence with some of the imprisoned officers (4:245–6, 323–8, 421–2). TJ included a proposal for dividing the counties into wards or hundreds in his 1778 Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 37 vols. description ends , 2:527–8).

Missing letters from Girardin to TJ of 13 and 18 Mar. 1815 are recorded in SJL as having been received from Glenmore on the days on which they were written.

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; Convention Army in search
  • Burk, John Daly; The History of Virginia search
  • Continental Congress, U.S.; and Convention Army search
  • Convention Army; in Albemarle County search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and J. D. Burk’s History of Virginia search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters from accounted for search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters to search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; TJ sends books to search
  • Histoire de France (F. E. Toulongeon) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends books search
  • Library of Congress; TJ prepares books for transportation search
  • Library of Congress; TJ’s catalogue of books sold to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); invitations to visit search
  • Revolutionary War; Convention Army of search
  • Revolutionary War; TJ on search
  • The History of Virginia (J. D. Burk, S. Jones, and L. H. Girardin); TJ’s role in the preparation of search
  • Toulongeon, François Emmanuel, vicomte de; Histoire de France search