Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Burwell Bassett, 17 June 1811

To Burwell Bassett

Monticello June 17.1 1811.

Dear Sir

I have lately recieved a letter from Monsr Beauvois of Paris, a literary friend & acquaintance of mine, who passed several years in the US. of which letter I give an extract on the next leaf. I am anxious to serve him in the case there stated, but find it necessary first to obtain correct information of the facts and transactions which have taken place2 in this country, and the present state of things respecting the case.3 I believe none of my old acquaintances in the county of N. Kent are now living there, and therefore I have presumed to ask your friendly aid in obtaining the information necessary to enable me to act understandingly for my friend. I have hoped that your acquaintance in that county might put it in your power to obtain the information I seek, without much trouble and that I might so far presume on our mutual acquaintance as to sollicit this favor, which will be considered as an obligation. Accept in the mean time the assurances of my great esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Burwell Basset esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

Burwell Bassett (1764–1841) was born in New Kent County and attended the College of William and Mary. In the Virginia House of Delegates he represented New Kent County, 1787–89, and James City County, 1819–21. Burwell sat in the Senate of Virginia, 1793–1805, and served as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives, 1805–13, 1815–19, and 1821–29. He lived in Williamsburg from 1815 to 1837, served on the vestry of Bruton Parish, and was a delegate to several state conventions of the Episcopal Church (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends ; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends ; Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser, 5 Mar. 1841).

1Reworked from “16.”

2TJ here canceled “in the case.”

3Reworked from “respecting it.”

Index Entries

  • Bassett, Burwell; and Palisot de Beauvois’s claim search
  • Bassett, Burwell; identified search
  • Bassett, Burwell; letters to search
  • New Kent County, Va.; and P. Piernet’s will search
  • Palisot de Beauvois, Ambroise Marie François Joseph; and P. Piernet’s will search
  • Piernet, Pierre (Peter); estate of search