Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Harrison Smith, [6 January 1801]

To Samuel Harrison Smith

[6 Jan. 1801]

Th: Jefferson sends mr Smith Cobbett’s 1st. number of his Porcupine, in which he may find some matters worth publication. his address will convince those, who were duped by him here, what his true character was.

there are two important rules of order past by the Senate which must be inserted in the Manual under the head of treaties. Th:J. must therefore borrow the M.S. a little while.

MS (DLC: J. Henley Smith Papers); undated; addressed: “Mr. S. H. Smith”; endorsed by Smith with note “attended to.” Not recorded in SJL.

On 7 Jan. 1801 Smith published extracts from the first number of the porcupine, the daily newspaper William Cobbett began publishing in London in October 1800. According to Smith they revealed insight into Cobbett’s “present sentiments, and may be considered as an elucidation of his late views, in relation to this country.” His address: the extracts were taken from Cobbett’s prospectus for the newspaper, a seven-page piece which he also published separately (William Cobbett, Prospectus of a Daily Paper, Called The Porcupine [Wincester, 1800], 1–2, 5–7; National Intelligencer, 7 Jan. 1801). For Cobbett’s return to England, see Vol. 31:322n.

In the end TJ added three rules of order to Section 52 on “Treaties,” the second-to-the-last section in his parliamentary manual. The first was passed by the Senate on 22 Dec. 1800, the day after TJ submitted the manuscript to Smith for publication, the second on 6 Jan., and the third on 3 Feb. 1801. The first two rules were published in the 12 Jan. issue of the National Intelligencer (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:361, 365, 376; Parliamentary Manual, 1801 description begins Thomas Jefferson, A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1801 description ends ; TJ to Smith, 21 Dec. 1800).

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