Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Caesar A. Rodney, 13 July 1803

To Caesar A. Rodney

Washington July 13. 03.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 7th. is now before me. mr Mendenhall wrote to me in Feb. last, asking the communication of a paper against him which he understood had been delivered to me. I wrote him in answer Feb. 25. that I did not remember ever to have recieved such a paper: that tho’ I might ascertain the fact by a recurrence to my files, yet it was unnecessary for another reason, which was, that as it was important to the public service that I should be the center of information, so to induce it freely to be given, I considered what I recieved as sacredly confidential, never to be given up. on the reciept of your letter of the 7th. I again reflected on the subject, & could not, nor can I now recollect such a paper. I have searched my files, carefully, over & over again, & under every head where I thought it could be placed. I cannot find such a one. still I have some recollection of the fact you remind me of, that after reading a paper to me, I asked you if you could leave it with me; but I do not recollect the nature of the paper. probably it has got misplaced, and that the constant recourse I have to my files may bring it under my eye, in which case I will return you a copy of it. your saying what the paper was, & that you delivered it to me, satisfies me of the fact, and I shall keep it in my mind whenever I may come across it.   Capt Lewis left this on the 5th. on his journey up the Missisipi. I shall leave it on the 25th. to be absent during the months of August & September. I salute you with respect and sincere affection.

Th: Jefferson

RC (British Library); at foot of text: “Caesar A. Rodney esq.” PrC (DLC).

mendenhall wrote to me: see Thomas Mendenhall’s letter to TJ of 12 Feb.

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