Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Franklin, to John Adams, and to John Jay, 5 October 1781

To Benjamin Franklin, to John Adams, and to John Jay

Virginia Oct. 5. 1781.

Dear Sir

The bearer hereof Colo. James Monroe who served some time as an officer in the American army and as such distinguished himself in the affair of Princetown as well as on other occasions, having resumed his studies, comes to Europe to complete them. Being a citizen of this state, of abilities, merit and fortune, and my particular friend, I take the liberty of making him known to you, that should any circumstances render your patronage and protection as necessary as they would be always agreeable to him, you may be assured they are bestowed on one fully worthy of them.

He will be able to give you a particular detail of American affairs and especially of the prospect we have thro’ the aid of our father of France, of making captives of Ld. Cornwallis and his army, of the recovery of Georgia and South Carolina, and the possibility that Charlestown itself will be opened to us.

I have the honour to be with the most profound respect & esteem, Your Excellency’s Most obedient & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “His Excellency Benjamin Franklin American Minister at the Court of Versailles. favored by Colo Monroe.” 2d RC (DLC: Madison Papers). 3d RC (Stuart W. Jackson, Gloucester, Va., 1946).

TJ enclosed the three letters in his to Monroe of this date, explaining that the second and third were intended for John Adams and John Jay but that they were not addressed. These copies differ from that addressed to Franklin only in the complimentary close in which “Dr. Sir” is substituted for “Your Excellency.” None of the letters was ever presented by Monroe because he was disappointed in obtaining passage for Europe (Monroe to TJ, 6 May 1782).

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