Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Caesar A. Rodney, 9 April 1804

From Caesar A. Rodney

Wilmington April 9. 1804.

Honored & Dear Sir,

I received with great pleasure & satisfaction your friendly & affectionate communication enclosing the paper we have so anxiously sought after, as it will effectually seal the lips of slander itself.

We have not much news with us or much of local importance. Burr’s pamphlet has been republished here, at the Federal press. What madness or folly prompted to this I am at a loss to conceive. It will have a very different tendency from that, which they expected. I applaud & admire the decision which has marked the conduct of the administration in reference to the late unfortunate affair at Tripoli & I flatter myself it will win the approbation of every good man in the community: I find the impeachment of Chase is a popular thing even with some Federal lawyers who can not but admit its justice & propriety.

Permit me to remark if there be negotiations pending with England, that provision should be made for cases of capture subsequent to jay’s Treaty similar to what was made in that instrument for cases occurring before its execution. If you recollect the neglect of this was one of the charges agt. Jay. I hope we shall be able to preserve our preponderance at the next State election. Bayard declines taking the field & they are at a loss what to do. It is whispered, that he means to take Well’s place in the Senate

Yours Most Affecy. & Sincerely

C. A. Rodney

RC (PP: Carson Collection). Recorded in SJL as received 16 Apr.

communication: see TJ to Rodney, 30 Mch.

In March 1804, Wilmington’s Federal Ark advertised the pamphlet by Aristides “In Vindication of Col. Burr”—William P. Van Ness’s Examination of the Various Charges Exhibited Against Aaron Burr, Esq.—for 31 cents (Federal Ark, 3 Mch. 1804; Vol. 42:150-1n).

On 26 Mch., the day before the close of the congressional session, John Randolph brought the articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase before the House of Representatives (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834-56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , 13:1236-40; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:689-90, 696; Vol. 40:372-3). The seven articles appeared in the Wilmington Mirror of the Times, & General Advertiser on 7 Apr. The same newspaper carried an article on 31 Mch., which argued that no one “having the least pretentions to impartiality” could read the documents presented before the House “without, at once agreeing that the conduct of Judge Chase” not only demanded “an enquiry, but deserved an impeachment.”

For Madison’s instructions to Monroe on negotiations with England, see Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 39 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 11 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 8 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 3 vols. description ends , 6:282-308; Vol. 42:250-1n.

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