Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Short, 6 August 1792

From William Short

The Hague Aug. 6. 1792

Dear Sir

Mr. Cobbett who will deliver you this letter is an English1 [gentleman], at present I believe in France, and about to embark for America. He has been formerly in the English possessions to the Northward and intends now to go and settle in the United States. A Gentleman in the family of the English Ambassador here,2 and acquainted with Mr. Cobbett, wishing to serve him, asks me to give him an introduction to some person in Philadelphia which may from his first arrival there shew him to be a man of worth and merit. Having a particular esteem for the gentleman here who has asked this letter of me I beg leave to present to you his friend Mr. Cobbett, and to ask of you for him those civilities which I know your readiness to shew to every stranger of that description. I am with sentiments of the most perfect attachment Dear Sir, Yours &c

W: Short

RC (DLC); torn (see note 1 below); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State Philadelphia”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Nov. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (DLC: James Madison Papers); in Madison’s hand with interpolations; at head of text: “(Copy)”; attached to subjoined text of William Cobbett’s covering letter to TJ, 2 Nov. 1792. Both of the interpolations by Madison discussed below are paraphrases of comments inserted in the text of this letter as printed in the Philadelphia Aurora-General Advertiser, 1 Aug. 1799, and in “An American,” To the Independent Electors of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1799), 7. On this pamphlet and the use to which the letters from Short and Cobbett were put in party polemics later in the decade, see note to Cobbett to TJ, 2 Nov. 1792.

1At this point in the RC there is now a tear, almost completely obliterating the next word written by Short. Underneath this tear in an unidentified hand is the word “man,” evidently added later in an effort to make it appear as if Short had written “Englishman.” However, the descender of the first letter of the torn word is still visible and is clearly separated from “English,” strongly suggesting that Short actually wrote “English gentleman.” In the Tr Madison inserted the following comment within brackets: “‘Gentleman’ in Mr. Shorts hand erased, and in another hand substituted ‘man.’”

2Here in the Tr Madison inserted the following comment within brackets: “the ambassador was Eden.”

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