Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 11 December 1802

To John Wayles Eppes

Washington Dec. 11. 1802.

Dear Sir

As it gives room for federal clamour for me ever to say any thing about an election, what I am now to say is confidential. Genl. Mason arrived here yesterday. I spoke to him on the subject of the resignation which he had meditated. he expressed great anxiety to withdraw, but finally said that if re-elected he would serve again. you can therefore affirm as a thing known to you through a single hand that he has expressed that determination: but not saying that I am the person communicating it. he promised me to write on the subject to Colo. Monroe; but there is a possibility he may be gone. it would be a real loss were he to withdraw from the Senate as yet. he has some talents peculiar & necessary.   we have not a Senate yet, nor expect one till the 13th. in which case the message will be delivered on the 14th. Maria & Francis are well. Martha’s cold a great deal better, indeed almost gone.—the shutting up the port of N. Orleans, which gave alarm at first, turns out to have been an unauthorised freak of the Intendant, which will probably be corrected before any inconvenience arises from it. health & affectionate attachment.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, St. Louis, 1946); addressed: “John W. Eppes now at Richmond”; franked and postmarked.

subject of the resignation: TJ had expressed concern about Stevens Thomson Mason’s contemplated departure from the Senate (TJ to Mason, 3 Sep. 1802).

On 10 Dec., Mason wrote to James monroe urging him to run in his place in the upcoming Senate election in Virginia. There is no evidence that Mason later wrote Monroe indicating that he would run again (Preston, Catalogue description begins Daniel Preston, A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Westport, Conn., 2001, 2 vols. description ends , 1:139).

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