Thomas Jefferson Papers
You searched for: “Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); and father’s legacy”
sorted by: date (ascending)
Permanent link for this document:

Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr, 8 October 1816

To Dabney Carr

Monticello Oct. 8. 16.

Dear Sir

I found here on my late return from Bedford, your favor of Sep. 24. and am very thankful for the information it conveys.

I recieved in the summer, a pamphlet and a letter under the name of H. Tompkinson. I knew no such person; but the pamphlet was sensibly & temperately written, on the subject of a convention, and as my sentiments on it were sollicited, and I thought such a writer might make good use of the matter without the name, I communicated them fully & freely. he acknoleged the reciept of my letter under his real name of Saml Kerchival, and pressed me to permit the publication of my letter. I instantly repeated to him my entreaties to prevent the possibility of that; and, still confiding in his honor, I added some matter supplementory to the former. your letter is the first notice of the breach of my injunctions, and I now inclose a 3d letter to him, and pray you, after it’s perusal, to stick a wafer in it, and to put it into the post office. can you do me the further favor of telling me who mr Kerchival is? for I know nothing of him but from his pamphlet.   I have sometimes thought of coming to a resolution never to answer a letter from a person whom I do not know. yet, to consider every man as unworthy of confidence, because some are found to be so, is a Machiavelism so contrary to my opinion of the human character generally, that I cannot act upon it. I believe it is better to suffer sometimes by breaches of confidence, than to suspect all and, by a jesuitical reserve, to become suspected of all.

Before the reciept of your letter I had attended to the other subject mentioned in it, and I have reason to believe that not only the testimony, but the very words of my letter to you are used as you wished them. Affectionately Yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “the honble Dabney Carr”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure: TJ to Samuel Kercheval, 8 Oct. 1816.

Index Entries

  • books; biographical search
  • Carr, Dabney (1743–73) (TJ’s brother-in-law); and W. Wirt’s book on P. Henry search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); and father’s legacy search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); and TJ’s letters on Va. constitution search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); letters to search
  • Henry, Patrick (1736–99); W. Wirt’s book on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; publication of his letters search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Va. constitution search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; writing unknown correspondents search
  • Kercheval, Samuel; and reform of Va. constitution search
  • Kercheval, Samuel; Letters addressed to the people of Virginia search
  • Letters addressed to the people of Virginia (S. Kercheval writing as “H. Tompkinson”) search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (W. Wirt); and D. Carr (1743–73) search
  • Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (W. Wirt); TJ provides information for search
  • Virginia; constitutional convention for proposed search
  • Virginia; constitution of (1776) search
  • Wirt, William; Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry search