James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 30 May 1810

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello May 30. 10.

Dear Sir

In the action brought against me by Edward Livingston, the counsel employed, Wirt & Hay (Wickham declining) desire me to furnish them with the grounds of defence, with as little delay as possible. The papers relating to the batture in the offices of State, the Treasury & war, will undoubtedly be needed to exhibit facts. I am now engaged on this subject, and not to give you unnecessary trouble I write to the Secretaries of State, Treasury & War directly, not doubting you will approve of their communicating what is necessary on the assurance of the papers being faithfully & promptly returnd, after extracting material parts. One article I am obliged to trouble yourself for; to wit Moreau de l’Isle’s Memoir1 which I have never read; & yet am sure it is too able not to be the most important I can consult. Will you be so good as to furnish me a printed copy if it has been printed or to lend the M. S. if not printed. I have copies of all the opinions printed before 1809. Poydras shewed me an argument of his2 in which I recollect that I thought there was one sound & new view. I have now forgotten it, & have no copy. Your’s affectionately

Th: Jefferson

P. S. No rain since the 3d. inst. Every thing getting desperate.

RC (DLC); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

2Julien Poydras de Lalande was the author of A Defence of the Right of the Public to the Batture of New Orleans (Washington, 1809; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 (22 vols. to date; New York, 1958-). description ends 18438) and Further Observations in Support of the Right of the Public … (Washington, 1809; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 (22 vols. to date; New York, 1958-). description ends 18439). Two congressional speeches delivered by Poydras in 1810 on the subject of the batture were also published as pamphlets (Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 (22 vols. to date; New York, 1958-). description ends 21128 and 21129).

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