Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Monroe, 11 December 1809

To John Monroe

Monticello Dec. 11. 09.


Your letter of Aug. 1. did not get to my hands till the 7th of Sep. two long absences from home have prevented my sooner answering it. I took nevertheless an early opportunity of placing your name under the eye of the President in the event of a new appointment of Governor of Indiana taking place. I should suppose however from what I have lately seen in the papers that that is not likely soon to take place. events seem very possible1 which in truth will not render those frontier stations very desirable.2 our misunderstandings with England seem now to have reached their ne plus ultra, and it is difficult to say what will be the next move. if not war, it may be the immediate Generator of war. possibly however a change in the British ministry may take place which may remove the immediate pressure on our commerce. should a Grenville administration take place, & still pursue the principle of claiming the seas by conquest, & exacting tribute from all who navigate it, there will be little hope of a continuance of peace. I salute you with esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); mutilated, with loss of seven lines of text just below dateline; addressed: “The honble John Monroe Lexington Kentucky,” with “now at Chillicothe Ohio” substituted for last two words by a different hand; franked; postmarked 13 Dec. in Milton and 1 Jan. in Lexington, Ky. PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

The Whig politician William Wyndam Grenville, 1st Baron grenville, served as nominal British prime minister, 1806–07 (ODNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ).

1Paragraph to this point supplied from PoC.

2Preceding five words supplied from PoC.

Index Entries

  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • Grenville, William Wyndam Grenville, 1st Baron; British politician search
  • Indiana Territory; governor of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; war with Great Britain search
  • Madison, James; and governorship of Indiana Territory search
  • Monroe, John; letters to search
  • Monroe, John; seeks TJ’s recommendation search
  • United States; and Great Britain search