Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 24 December 1810

From James Monroe

Albemarle Dcer 24. 1810.

Dear Sir

I arrived here last night1 indisposed2 and must3 return in the stage to morrow or should have the pleasure to call on you. It was necessary that I should4 be present at the transfer of my property from one overseer to another, for which purpose I obtained leave of absence for a few days.5

Mr Ritchie informed Mr Coles6 that an anonymous7 communication had been sent him, stating that you had had8 a correspondence with the Comrs or Trustees9 for opening the river near Milton, throwing light on the subject of inland navigation,10 and that application had been made to them for a copy of it,11 with a view to lay it before the publick, which had been refused. He consulted me on the subject. I suggested12 the propriety of with holding the publication for the present, and writing13 to the Comrs14 for a copy, on the idea that in that mode the object might be obtained without the possibility of putting you in collision with any of your neighbours. The hint was adopted, as I was informd by Ritchie in a conversation I had with him the day before I left town.15 A knowledge of the occurrence may possibly be of some use to you.

We have so far advanc’d in the business of the assembly with much harmony, and there does not appear at this moment to be in any one a16 disposition to interrupt it. In my judgment the true course is to let the legislature pass thro’ the session, without being called on to interfere with the national concerns. I think that such a course would tend essentially to conciliate the members17 of the republican party towards each other,18 and to draw them more closely together than has been done19 of late. My earnest object is to promote that end, and if I am not driven by propositions bearing unfavorably on transactions to which I was a party in self defence, to place my conduct in a just light, it is possible that I may contribute to it.20 Propositions of this kind, from what I can discern,21 are not likely to come from any but such as profess to be the friends of the admn but who have other objects than its welfare,22 and who may be pleased at23 a collision between it and me from motives24 very distant from those that are connected with25 the publick26 good.27

I am dear Sir very sincerely Your friend & servant

Jas Monroe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 29 Dec. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Dft (DLC: Monroe Papers); endorsed by Monroe.

1In Dft Monroe here canceled “rather.”

2In Dft Monroe here canceled “with a bad cold.”

3Dft: “shall.”

4In Dft sentence begins “I wished to.”

5In Dft Monroe here canceled “only.”

6Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “me.”

7Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “a.”

8In Dft Monroe here canceled “some.”

9Preceding two words omitted in Dft.

10Preceding ten words interlined in Dft in place of “of an interesting nature, which.”

11Preceding seven words interlined in Dft in place of “by some friend of yrs. for a copy of it.”

12Word interlined in place of “advised.” In Dft Monroe wrote “I <advised that the> suggested.”

13Dft: “and of <Mr Ritchie’s> writing.”

14In Dft Monroe here added “or Trustees.”

15In Dft Monroe here canceled “I inform you of it.”

16Preceding six words interlined in Dft in place of “any.”

17Dft: “the different members.”

18Preceding three words interlined in Dft.

19Word interlined in Dft in place of “the case.”

20In Dft Monroe canceled two heavily reworked versions of this sentence, within the body of the letter and in the margin, before completing it on a separate page, where it ultimately read “It is earnestly my object to promote that end, and if I am not driven into the necessity, by propositions bearing unfavorably on transactions to which I was a party, in my own defence, placing my own conduct in a just light, it is possible that I may have some weight in effecting it.”

21Preceding five words interlined in Dft.

22Preceding three words interlined in Dft in place of “in view, one of w.”

23Preceding three words interlined in Dft in place of “[labor?] to promote.”

24Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “for purposes.”

25Preceding four words interlined in Dft in place of “of.”

26In Dft Monroe here canceled “welfare.”

27Dft ends here.

Index Entries

  • Coles, Isaac A.; and Rivanna Company search
  • Enquirer (Richmond newspaper); T. Ritchie as editor of search
  • Madison, James; administration of search
  • Milton, Va.; and Rivanna Company search
  • Monroe, James; and Rivanna Company search
  • Monroe, James; letters from search
  • Monroe, James; on Republican unity search
  • Republican party; in Richmond search
  • Republican party; unity within search
  • Richmond, Va.; Republicans in search
  • Ritchie, Thomas; editor of Richmond Enquirer search
  • Rivanna Company; directors of search
  • Rivanna River; navigation rights search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; Republicans in search