Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Thomas Jefferson to Jonathan B. Smith, 26 April 1791

I. Thomas Jefferson to Jonathan B. Smith

Apr. 26. 1791.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to Mr. Jonathan B. Smith, and in consequence of the inclosed note and of Mr. Beckley’s desire he sends him Mr. Paine’s pamphlet. He is extremely pleased to find it will be re-printed here, and that something is at length to be publicly said against the political heresies which have sprung up among us. He has no doubt our citizens will rally a second time round the standard of Common sense.1 He begs leave to engage three or four copies of the republication.

RC (DLC: Jonathan Bayard Smith Papers); endorsed, in part: “Communicating a copy of Paine’s Rights of Man for publication.” Not recorded in SJL. Enclosure: In addition to the copy of Rights of Man, TJ enclosed Beckley’s note requesting that it be forwarded. The note has not been found and is not recorded in SJL, but it was probably written and received on the same day TJ wrote the above.

In his letter to Randolph, TJ said that he thought so little of this note that he “did not even retain a copy of it” (TJ to Randolph, 3 July 1791; Document v).

1Only the two preceding sentences were published by Smith in his edition of Rights of Man. These were quoted exactly except for the use of the first person instead of the third at the beginning of each sentence.

Index Entries