Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 8 November 1800

To James Monroe

Monticello Nov. 8. 1800

Th:J. to Jas. Monroe

Yours by your servant has been delivered as also that by mr Erwin. I think Skipwith’s letter contains some paragraphs which would do considerable good in the newspapers. I shall inclose that & the other by mr Erwin to mr Madison, to be returned to you. I shall set out for Washington so as to arrive there as soon as I suppose the answer to the speech is delivered. it is possible some silly things may be put into the latter on the hypothesis of it’s being valedictory, & that these may be zealously answered by the federal majority in our house. they shall deliver it themselves therefore. I have not heard from Craven since I wrote to you. I told him I should leave this on the 12th. therefore I think it certain he will be here before that date, as we have some important arrangements to make together. I shall not fail to encourage the purchase of your lands.—I am sincerely sorry I was absent when you were in the neighborhood. I wished to learn something of the excitements, the expectations & extent of this negro conspiracy, not being satisfied with the popular reports. I learnt with concern in Bedford that the important deposit of arms near New London is without even a centinel to guard it. there is said to be much powder in it. we cannot suppose the federal administration takes this method of offering arms to insurgent negroes: yet some in the neighborhood of the place suspect it. would it not be justifiable in you to suggest to them the importance of a guard there? in truth that deposit should be removed to the river. Health, respect & affection.

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers). PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

The letter carried by Monroe’s servant was apparently that of 3 Nov. The other letter acknowledged by TJ above was that of 6 Nov.

Adams gave his speech to both houses of Congress in the Senate chamber of the new Capitol on 22 Nov., five days after the opening of the second session of the Sixth Congress. Uriah Tracy, Abraham Baldwin, and Gouverneur Morris, who had been elected to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of James Watson of New York, drafted the Senate’s response, which was adopted with John E. Howard of Maryland presiding pro tem. At noon on the 26th the Senate assembled at the President’s House to deliver their address to Adams. TJ arrived in Washington the following day, having left Monticello on 24 Nov. (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:105–110; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1031; Biog. Dir. Cong.,63–4).

On 7 Nov. TJ wrote a letter to John H. Craven that is recorded in SJL but has not been found.

Arms had been stored and manufactured at New London, Virginia, for some years (CVSP description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends , 2:166, 221, 231; 8:363, 419, 420).

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