Thomas Jefferson Papers

Larkin Smith to Thomas Jefferson, 4 April 1809

From Larkin Smith

Norfolk April 4th 1809

Dear Sir

Believing that the importance of the information brought by a British sloop of war1 which arrived yesterday in Hampton Roads will be acceptable to you, I take much pleasure in communicating it. she brings a secretary of Legation to Mr Erskine with dispatches, and an account of the arrival of the remnant of the British army from Spain. they were attacked by the French when in the act of Embarking, their commander Sir John Moore and another genl officer were killed, and their other loss no doubt very considerable. King Joseph had been crowned at Madrid, and Bonaparte had returned to Paris, leaving an Army of 250 thousand men in Spain.2 it is also said that the orders of council are or will be repealed.

I have the honor to be Sir with sincere Esteem & high respect your Obt Servt

Larkin Smith

RC (CSmH: JF-BA); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Late President of the U. States”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Apr. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

Sir David Baird was probably the other genl officer alluded to, although he was severely wounded rather than killed during the evacuation under French bombardment of a British army from Corunna in northern Spain in January 1809 (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1901, 22 vols. description ends ).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Baird, Sir David; killed by French forces search
  • Bonaparte, Joseph, king of Spain search
  • Erskine, David M.; dispatches for search
  • Moore, Sir John; death of search
  • Moore, Sir John; Spanish campaign of search
  • Smith, Larkin; letters from search
  • Smith, Larkin; sends foreign intelligence search
  • Spain; resists Napoleonic rule search