Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to David Bailie Warden, 27 February 1815

To David Bailie Warden

Monticello Feb. 27. 15.

Dear Sir

My last to you was of Dec. 29. 13. since which I have recieved1 your’s of May 5. and July 25. with P.S.S. of June 18. & Aug. 1. these gave me the first information of your being under any difficulty with our government, and I lost no time in writing to the President & Secy of State, sending the statement you inclosed. the plain and direct narrative of this paper I did not doubt would impress their minds, as it had done mine; and remove all difficulties. mr Correa was here at the time. I communicated to him what I was doing, and engaged him on his return to Washington, which was to take place in a few days, to cooperate with me verbally. I recieved no answer from the President, nor could I, according to usage or propriety, expect one. his answers, in such cases, being only to be read in his acts.2 nor have I heard from Mr Correa on the subject, nor indeed in any way learned what has been decided or done. this renders me entirely uncertain whether this letter will find you at Paris, or whether you may not be on your way to Washington, according to an idea expressed in your P.S. of Aug. 1. the books and brochures from the Abbé Rochon, addressed3 thro’ mr Short, are not yet recieved, probably not come to his hands, or he would have noticed them to me. according to your request, I send you a copy of my Parliamentary Manual, and am to acknolege the reciept of Toulongeon, whom I have read with great satisfaction and information. he has given me the first luminous4 view of the course of the French revolution to the death of Robespierre, of which till then my ideas had been entirely chaotic. he has solved to me the riddle of the Jacobins. many of the earlier set of them had been personally known to me, and altho’ I knew them disposed to establish a republic on the ruins of the constitution of 91. yet I could never recognize them in the anarchical proceedings which overthrew all government. a history of that club would be curious, & valuable. but what we now want especially is a history of the Directory, and one of Bonaparte. I hope some well informed, candid, plain narrator is engaged in it. no one would do it better than M. Toulongeon.—On the conflagration of the Capitol at Washington, and of the public5 library, I thought it a duty to offer mine, and to relinquish the barren use and amusement I might have derived from it the few years I have remaining, for the more important purposes it may answer in their hands. Congress has accepted it, and I have now to make up again a collection for my self of such as may amuse my hours of reading. I should have trespassed on your goodness as to the part of the catalogue which must come from Paris, but for the uncertainty of your being there. I believe I shall trouble mr Ticknor with it, who is the bearer of this letter, and who is himself a well informed bibliograph. should he find you at Paris, I recommend him to you as an excellently educated young man, candid, amiable and worthy of every attention you can shew him. he is from Massachusets, proposes to pass two or three years in Europe, and then to take a stand at the bar of his own state; and I have no doubt will afterwards go far in the career of public honors and employments, should he embrace a political life.

We have recently heard that peace is concluded. it is well; because peace is better than war for every body. but we were just getting forward a set of officers, who having already redeemed the honor we lost under the traitors cowards and fools of the first year, would very soon have planted our banners on the walls of Quebec and Halifax. I pray you to accept the assurance of my great esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (MdHi: Warden Papers); addressed: “Mr David B. Warden Consul of the United States at Paris”; notation by TJ at foot of address cover: “with a book”; endorsed by Warden adjacent to dateline: “from mr. Jefferson recd by mr Ticknor may 1817.” PoC (DLC); on reused address cover from Randolph Jefferson to TJ; torn at seal, with missing text recopied by TJ above the line; endorsed by TJ. Tr (PHi: Joel R. Poinsett Papers); extract in Warden’s hand in his 1 Nov. 1827 letter to Poinsett. Enclosure: TJ, A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States (Washington, 1801; 2d ed., Philadelphia, 1812; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 11 [no. 687]; repr. in PW description begins Wilbur S. Howell, ed., Jefferson’s Parliamentary Writings, 1988, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends ). Probably enclosed in TJ to George Ticknor, 3 Mar. 1815, for which see note to TJ to Ticknor, 19 Mar. 1815.

Warden’s letter to TJ of may 5. is printed above at 6 May 1814, the date of the RC. His p.s.s. of june 18. & aug. 1. are printed as separate letters to TJ at their respective dates. No correspondence from TJ to secy of state James Monroe on Warden’s behalf has been found. Instead of no answer from the president to his letter in support of Warden, TJ had in a fact received a strongly worded rejection of Warden’s defense (TJ to James Madison, 13 Oct. 1814; Madison to TJ, 23 Oct. 1814 [second letter]).

1Tr begins here with “yours of 25 July & 18 June gave me the first information.”

2Tr ends here.

3Manuscript: “addresdressed.”

4TJ here canceled “ideas.”

5Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • A Manual of Parliamentary Practice (Thomas Jefferson); D. B. Warden requests search
  • books; on French Revolution search
  • books; on history search
  • books; on politics search
  • Capitol, U.S.; and War of1812 search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and D. B. Warden’s consulship search
  • France; Directory search
  • French Revolution; TJ on search
  • French Revolution; works on search
  • Great Britain; peace with search
  • Great Britain; TJ on war with search
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia; TJ on prospects of capturing search
  • Histoire de France (F. E. Toulongeon) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; French Revolution search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; G. Ticknor search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; peace with Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; war with Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Manual of Parliamentary Practice search
  • Library of Congress; destroyed by British troops search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and D. B. Warden search
  • Monroe, James; and D. B. Warden’s removal as U.S. consul search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; mentioned search
  • Paris; U.S. consul at search
  • Quebec; TJ on prospect of capturing search
  • Robespierre, Maximilien François Marie Isidore de; as leader of French Revolution search
  • Rochon, Alexis Marie; sends books and pamphlets to TJ search
  • Short, William; D. B. Warden sends publications through search
  • Ticknor, George; and books for TJ search
  • Ticknor, George; carries TJ’s letters to Europe search
  • Ticknor, George; TJ on search
  • Ticknor, George; TJ’s letters of introduction for search
  • Ticknor, George; travels of search
  • Toulongeon, François Emmanuel, vicomte de; Histoire de France search
  • Toulongeon, François Emmanuel, vicomte de; TJ on search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters to search
  • Warden, David Bailie; removed from consulship search
  • Warden, David Bailie; sends publications to TJ search
  • Warden, David Bailie; TJ introduces G. Ticknor to search
  • Warden, David Bailie; TJ sends works to search
  • War of1812; British destruction in Washington search
  • War of1812; TJ on search
  • Washington, D.C.; British destruction in search