Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Ravara, 25 May 1793

To Joseph Ravara

Philadelphia May. 25. 1793.


I sincerely lament the situation in which you are unhappily placed. Though circumstances have worn such an aspect as to render it necessary in the opinion of the magistrate to subject them to a legal enquiry, yet I hope they will be found finally inconclusive. But till that enquiry, there is no power in this country which can withdraw you from the custody of the law, nor shorten it’s duration. I learn that your cause will be taken care of by able counsel and I am sure you will have upright judges. Under such circumstances, innocence has nothing to fear; and that that innocence may be yours is the sincere hope of Sir Your very humble servant

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Ravara.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL).

Ravara wrote again to TJ on 29 May 1793, reiterating that he was innocent of the charge against him and complaining about having to remain in prison until he came to trial, stating that he was now falsely believed to have written a letter to “Mr. Cramond” against the English (RC in DNA: RG 59, NFC; in French; above postscript: “Mr. T. Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL). TJ did not reply to the Genoese consul general, and no other letters subsequently passed between them.

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