Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to C. & A. Conrad & Company, 23 November 1809

To C. & A. Conrad & Company

Monticello Nov. 23. 09.

Messrs Conrad & co.

On my return after an absence of a fortnight, I yesterday recieved your letter of the 13th. Govr Lewis had in his lifetime apprized me that he had contracted with you for the publication of his account of his expedition. I had written to him some time ago to know when he would have it ready & was expecting an answer when I recieved the news of his unfortunate end. James Neelly, the US. agent to the Chickasaws, writes me that ‘he has his two trunks of papers (at Nashville, I suppose, from whence his letter is dated) amongst which is said to be his travels to the Pacific ocean; that some days previous to his death he requested of him (Neely) in case any accident happened to him, to send his trunk, with the papers therein to the President, but he thinks it very probable he meant, to me, and wishes to be informed what arrangements may be considered best in sending on his trunks Etc.’ I am waiting the arrival of Genl Clarke, expected here in a few days, to consult with him on the subject. his aid & his interest in the publication of the work may render him the proper depository to have it prepared & delivered over to you. but my present idea is (if he concurs) to order it on to the President, according to his literal desire, and the rather because it is said that there are in his trunks vouchers for his public accounts. be assured I shall spare no pains to secure the publication of his work, and when it may be within my sphere to take any definitive step respecting it, you shall be informed of it by, Gentlemen,

Your most obedt servt

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

In his extract from the 18 Oct. 1809 letter of james neelly reporting Meriwether Lewis’s death, TJ combined and slightly altered two separate portions of the letter’s final paragraph. According to William Clark’s journal, shortly after his arrival in Charlottesville on 7 Dec., the ex-president invited him “to go and Stay at his house, &c. I went with him and remained all night, Spoke much of the afs of Gov Lewis &c” (MS in MoSHi: Breckenridge Collection; in Clark’s hand).

Index Entries

  • Clark (Clarke), William; and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; visits Monticello search
  • Conrad, C. & A., and Company (Philadelphia firm); and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Conrad, C. & A., and Company (Philadelphia firm); letters to search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; and J. Neelly search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; death of search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; papers of search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; journals of search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; publication of journals search
  • Madison, James; M. Lewis’s papers sent to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Clark, William search
  • Neelly, James; and M. Lewis’s effects search
  • suicide; and M. Lewis search