Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 30 May 1781

To Lafayette

Charlottesville May 30th. 1781.


Mr. Maury informs me there is Reason to expect from Lord Cornwallis a permission to export to Charlestown tobacco for our Officers and Soldiers in captivity there. As you have been fully apprised of what has been done heretofore and a negotiation for the relief of Officers and soldiers of the Continental Line which you have honored by accepting the command seems equally reconcileable to your Office and humanity, I will beg leave to inform you that the State will provide as far as nine hundred hogsheads of tobacco to be sent to Charlestown for the above purpose and to ask the favor of you to negotiate with Lord Cornwallis for the License. The Distance of the Executive from his Lordship is an additional reason for asking this favor of you. Mr. Maury will lend any aid in his power to promote this business, and is still recommended as a proper person to attend the tobacco to Charlestown. I have the honor to be &c.,

Thomas Jefferson

FC (Vi).

This letter was written before TJ received Lafayette’s letter of 28 May in which he said that as soon as he heard from TJ he would get a passport for Charleston. See note to TJ to Miles King, this date; see also TJ to Ross, 26 May 1781, for TJ’s earlier and different decision.

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