Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Langdon, 8 May 1803

From John Langdon

Portsmouth May 8th. 1803

Dear Sr.

I pray you to accept my acknowledgement, for the papers sent me. I received last week a pamphlet which is consider’d of great importance, it is now rangg. thro’ the News papers, and will be republished here. We have reports every day that War has been declared between France and great Britain; let this be as it may, I hope America will remain at peace, which will give us great advantages. Our New Orleans Business has been happily settled, a little too soon for the British and American factions, that there has been an understanding between them, on the Declaration of War, I have no doubt.

I have the honor to be with the greatest, respect, Dear Sr. most, sincerely your’s

John Langdon

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “President of US.”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 May and so recorded in SJL.

The pamphlet mentioned by Langdon was probably A Vindication of the Measures of the Present Administration, a vigorous defense of TJ’s policies written by Gideon Granger under the pseudonym Algernon Sidney. The three-part essay first appeared in Samuel H. Smith’s National Intelligencer on 15, 18, and 22 Apr. 1803 and was reprinted in newspapers across the country. Smith soon after collected the articles into a pamphlet and additional versions were subsequently published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Hartford, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware; and Trenton, New Jersey. TJ apparently sent copies of the essays to various political friends, including William C. C. Claiborne and probably Thomas Worthington and John Bacon (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends , s.v. “Granger, Gideon”; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , Nos. 4301–5; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3301; TJ to John Bacon, 30 Apr. 1803; Thomas Worthington to TJ, 23 May 1803; William C. C. Claiborne to TJ, 30 May 1803).

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