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Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson’s Memorandum on Correspondence with James Wilkinson, 6 March 1811


Memorandum on Correspondence with James Wilkinson

I. II. III. Notes  
1. Sep. 1.         (a) my letter list does not acknolege the reciept of this letter, but my memory does. it was probably inclosed in one of some other date, considered merely as an inclosure & therefore not entered in the list as a distinct letter.
1802. Jan. 18. Misipi territy    
1804. June 11. Washington    
July 1.      
5. do    
  1804. Sep. 3.       (b) No 74. no date to the copy, but from it’s number it must have been between Nov. 28. & Dec. 9. 06. my letter list does not attest the reciept of any letter from Genl Wilkinson within that interval. yet I think I recollect it’s contents, if I recieved it it ought to be found in the bundle I delivered the Atty Genl , and the day of it’s reciept endorsed in my handwriting.
Nov. 10. do    
1805. June 27. Ste  Genevieve    
Oct. 22. St Louis.    
Nov. 6. do    
Dec. 23. do    
1806. Mar. 29. do    
  1806. Oct. 20.   1806. Oct. 20.     (c) My letter list does not attest the reciept of this letter, nor does my memory enable me to say either that I did, or did not recieve it. if I recieved it, it would of course be put into the bundle of papers respecting Burr, & the day of it’s reciept endorsed in my hand.
  Oct. 21.   21. Natchitoches
  Nov. 12.   Nov. 12. Minor’s
    28 (a)
    No 74. no date(b)
  Dec. 9.   Dec. 9. New Orleans
  9.   Dec. 9.  
  14.   14.  
  18.   18.  
  25.   25.  
  26.   26.  
  1807. Jan. 2.   1807. Jan. 2.  
    9. (c)
  18.   18.  
  23.   23. 1
  1807. Feb. 13.   1807. Feb. 13. New Orleans
  17.   17. do
  Mar. 1.   Mar. 1. do
  3.   3. do
  12. New Orleans  
  13. do  
  23. do  
  27. do  
  Apr. 8. do  
  15. do  
  19. do  
  22. do  
  June 17. Richmond  
1807. June. 26. Richmond    
July 26. do    
Aug. 11. do    
Sep. 13. do    
1808. Jan. 22. Washington  
  1808. June 12. Washington  
June 23. Washington.    
23. do    
  July 16. Washington  
Sep. 1. Carlisle.    
1. do    
  Sep. 5. Carlisle  
8. do    
Oct. 1. do    
  1809. Jan. 11.    

The list on the two preceding pages contains the date of every letter I recieved from Genl Wilkinson during the time I was in the administration of the government. the Ist column presents the dates of the letters now in my possession. the IId those noted in my letter list as recieved from Genl Wilkinson, but which are not now in my possession. as they related to Burr’s conspiracy, they were put into the hands of the Attorney General, mr Rodney. some perhaps may have been deposited in the War office, as merely relating to that department. the IIId column gives the dates of the letters of Genl Wilkinson communicated to me by the honble Ezekiel Bacon for verification. it will be seen by the Ist column that I am not in possession of a single original of those in Column IIId. these comprehend exactly the period of Burr’s conspiracy; and the whole of them were delivered to the Atty Genl for the purposes of the trial. I have however carefully read the copies communicated by mr Bacon, and recollect well the great mass of their contents; nor do I find any thing in the parts not specifically recollected, but what accords with the general impressions I retain of the transactions. I have no doubt therefore of the fidelity of the copies. but the originals will certainly be found either in the hands of the Attorney General, or in the office of State; and every one of them endorsed in my handwriting with the name of the writer, date of time & place, and the day of it’s reciept by me.

Certified this 6th day of March 1811.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand; repeated column headings at top of second page omitted.

letter list: TJ’s Summary Journal of Letters (SJL). The letters in the ist column are in DLC: TJ Papers. The originals of those in the iid are scattered and some are lost, with the largest grouping in DLC: Burr Conspiracy Papers. The letters in the iiid column were printed by the United States House of Representatives in Report of the Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Conduct of General Wilkinson (Washington, D.C., Feb. 1811), 420–64, with the following explanation (p. 7): “Copies of the letters and extracts of letters to Mr. Jefferson, late president of the United States, from general Wilkinson, which are herewith reported, numbered from 150 to 171, both inclusive, had early in the present month been transmitted to the former for his verification. But the same not having been returned to the committee, agreeably to their expectation, and they having lately been informed, that, owing to the absence of Mr. Jefferson from the usual place of his residence, the papers forwarded would not in all probability reach him in season to be returned during the present session of congress; they have felt it their duty to admit the copies now submitted, as furnished by general Wilkinson from his letter book. Their authenticity of course rests entirely upon their production by general Wilkinson, and upon the particular circumstances attending that production.”

1First page ends here.

Index Entries

  • Bacon, Ezekiel; and J. Wilkinson search
  • Burr, Aaron (1756–1836); alleged conspiracy of search
  • Burr, Aaron (1756–1836); treason trial of search
  • Congress, U.S.; investigates J. Wilkinson search
  • Congress, U.S.; Report of the Committee Appointed to Inquire into the Conduct of General Wilkinson search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; Report of the Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Conduct of General Wilkinson search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; with J. Wilkinson search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Summary Journal of Letters search
  • Report of the Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Conduct of General Wilkinson search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; as attorney general search
  • Wilkinson, James; and E. Bacon search
  • Wilkinson, James; Congress investigates search
  • Wilkinson, James; correspondence with TJ search