Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Aaron Stephenson, 20 November 1787

From Aaron Stephenson

Cambrai, 20 Nov. 1787. His former letter was written from the hospital at “Durlong” [Doullens] in Picardy; on the 8th. of the next month he “Departted from thence for the Redgment where I Arived in three Days”; has been informed by the major of the regiment that Col. Serrant received a letter from “Derek Levall” demanding Stephenson’s discharge, but the colonel left without mentioning the letter; appeals to TJ, as a representative of his native land, for help; if he can reach Paris he will present himself to give an account of his past conduct.

RC (MHi); endorsed. Recorded in SJL as received 22 Nov. 1787.

Stephenson’s former letter, dated 15 Sep. 1787, has not been found but is recorded in SJL as received 17 Sep. 1787, from “Doullens en Picardie.” TJ may have referred this missing letter to Lafayette, or Stephenson may have written directly to Lafayette, for there is in MHi the following letter to Lafayette from Walsh-Serrant, Colonel of the Régiment de Dillon, dated 21 Nov. 1787: “Je n’ai receu qu’hier, Monsieur le Marquis, la lettre par laquelle vous me temoignez l’interest que vous prenez au nommé Aaron Stephenson, soldat du regiment de Dillon. Quelqu’attaché que je sois aux hommes de cette espece, je n’en suis pas moins empressé à faire quelque chose qui puisse vous plaire, et vous serez le Maitre, Monsieur le Marquis, du Congé de cette homme pour dix louis. Si vous trouvez que cent ecus soient un prix trop cher, j’auray l’honneur de Vous observer seulement que Stephenson a dit franchement que sa famille est aisée, et que nous ne le sommes pas au Regiment…”

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