Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Law to Thomas Jefferson, 13 November 1811

From Thomas Law

Philadelphia Novr 13–1811—

Dear Sir—

For several months I did not think the Baltimore printers “family anecdote” of consequence enough to send home, but in May I forwarded it, & my Br Lord Ellenborough says that “Fox never did or would have used the expressions quoted as his,—it was not his manner of acting”1 I am induced to intrude with this, out of justice to so worthy a man, & not to convince you that the Federal republican has published a calumny—

The Presidents Message, Mr Monroes correspondence with Mr Foster2 & Mr Pinkneys last Letter to the Marquis of Wellesley have impressed all descriptions of men with a conviction that the Government has been sported with & the nation wronged—as an Englishman I sincerely hope, that our Ministers3 will no longer be deluded by an idea mischievously inculcated that this Government dare not assert its rights by the last appeal, the ultima ratio— it would have been gratifying to me if my Government had voluntarily preceded Bonaparte in revokations, & assumed the character of Defender of neutral rights— Peace between this Country & my own has always been the object of my wishes, & I have made a last effort for this purpose in my yesterdays Letters—by the Packet—

It is a satisfaction to me in reading publications from India, to learn that my system has made millions secure in their possessions & prosperous; you must enjoy the retrospect of your countrys rapid advancement during peace—Had 30000 men been employed in armies & navies, & 20000 in building Ships, making tents, ammunition arms &ca the labor of 50000 men would have been lost annually for 12 Years—which at a Dollar per diem amounts to

300  days
12  years.

Your former obliging invitation to Mount Vernon, is too flattering for me not to avail myself of it, I am here attending to my daughters education

I remain With unfeigned respect & esteem

Thos Law

RC (DLC); addressed: “To Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 15 Nov.; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Dec. 1811 and so recorded in SJL.

For the family anecdote, see Law to TJ, 22 Dec. 1810. Law considered the introduction of his system of regular, predictable taxation in India as one of his greatest accomplishments as an employee of the East India Company. On 15 Jan. 1811 TJ had invited Law to visit Monticello, not mount vernon.

1Superfluous quotation marks editorially omitted.

2Preceding three words interlined. Manuscript: “Forster.”

3Preceding two words interlined in place of “they.”

Index Entries

  • Baltimore, Md.; newspapers search
  • Congress, U.S.; J. Madison’s messages to search
  • Federalist party; media of search
  • Federal Republican & Commercial Gazette (Baltimore newspaper) search
  • Foster, Augustus John; British minister to U.S. search
  • Fox, Charles James; alleged remarks on TJ search
  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • Law, Edward, 1st Earl of Ellenborough; and alleged remarks on TJ by C. J. Fox search
  • Law, Thomas; and Federalist criticism of TJ search
  • Law, Thomas; letters from search
  • Law, Thomas; on Anglo-American relations search
  • Law, Thomas; taxation policy of search
  • Madison, James; messages to Congress search
  • Maryland; newspapers in search
  • Monroe, James; as secretary of state search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; Continental System of search
  • newspapers; Baltimore Federal Republican & Commercial Gazette search
  • Pinkney, William; as U.S. minister to Great Britain search
  • Wellesley, Richard Wellesley, Marquess; British foreign minister search