Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Steuben, 6 April 1781

To Steuben

In Council April 6. 1781.


Since writing my other letter of this date, yours of to day is come to hand. I take the liberty of inclosing to you an extract from a letter I wrote Genl. Weedon on the subject of Colo. Curie which I suppose had not been communicated to Genl. Phillips at the date of his letter.

Colo. Holmes at Winchester is the Continental Commissary of Prisoners in this State, who I dare say can make a return of all the Prisoners in the State, except those lately taken, and not yet delivered to him.

I have the honor to be with great respect, Your most obedt. and very humbl Servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (NHi); in a clerk’s hand, signed by TJ. FC (Vi). Enclosure (NHi): Extract of TJ’s letter to Weedon, 4 Apr. 1781, q.v.

Yours of today: Steuben’s letter of 6 Apr. 1781 to TJ has not been found. It apparently had contained an enclosure of a letter from Gen. William Phillips referring to the proposed exchange of Col. Curie. From the context it is obvious that TJ thought his letter of 4 Apr. 1781 to Weedon had not been communicated to Phillips “at the date of his letter.” Weedon did communicate with Phillips on 6 Apr., but he did not inform Steuben of this fact until 8 Apr.; hence TJ could not have been referring to that letter from Phillips when he employed the phrase “at the date of his letter” (see note to Phillips to Weedon, 6 Apr. 1781, above, and to Weedon to TJ, 8 Apr. 1781, below). It must, therefore, have been Phillips’ letter to Muhlenberg of 3 Apr. 1781 that Steuben enclosed (or at least referred to) in his missing letter to TJ of the present date. A return of … prisoners: There is in the collection of Lloyd W. Smith, Esq., Madison, N.J., a manuscript “List of the 21st Regiment British Fredrick Town” and also a list of “the officers Serveants of the Battalion of Grenadiers of the Brunswick Troops,” bearing date 6 Apr. 1781; these lists may have been drawn up in connection with the proposed exchange of prisoners.

Index Entries