Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Paine, 13 February 1792

From Thomas Paine

London Feby. 13 1792

Dear Sir

Mr. Kenedy who brings this to N York, is on the point of setting out, I am therefore confined to time. I have enclosed six Copies of my work for your self in a parcel addressed to the President, and three or four for my other friends, which I wish you to take the trouble of presenting.

I have just heard of Govr. Morris’s appointment. It is a most unfortunate one, and as I shall mention the same thing to him when I see him, I do not express it to you with the injunction of Confidence.

He is just now arrived in London, and this circumstance has served, as I see by the french papers, to encrease the dislike and suspicion of some of that Nation and the National Assembly against him.—Your Affectionate friend &c.

Thomas Paine

P.S. In the present state of Europe it would be best to make no appointments.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 7 May 1792 and so recorded in SJL.

TJ acknowledged receipt of the second part of Rights of Man in a 19 June 1792 letter to Paine, printed as Document xiii to Editorial Note and group of documents on Rights of Man: The “Contest of Burke and Paine … in America,” at 26 Apr. 1791. See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952-1959, 5 vols. description ends No. 2826.

Despite Paine’s disapproval of Gouverneur Morris’ appointment as minister to France, he apparently failed to reveal his sentiments on this issue during his encounters with Morris in London after writing this letter (Gouverneur Morris, A Diary of the French Revolution, ed. Beatrix Cary Davenport [Boston, 1939], ii, 368, 370–1).

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