Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Short to Thomas Jefferson, 7 May 1816

From William Short

Philadelphia May 7.—16

Dear sir

In consequence of an understanding between Mr H: & myself, that I would inclose to you his bond & mortgage,1 when the payment was completed, I now take the liberty of inclosing his last bond & the mortgage—I have been informed by Mr Gibson that he has recieved for me from the agent of Mr H. at Richmond $170, being the sum to which this last bond was reduced by the deduction of the 68. acres—This affair is thus terminated—I cannot put the last hand to it without again renewing my thanks for all the trouble which you have been so good as to submit to in it for me, & which I can assure has made the proper impression on my mind—I must add also my hope that you will excuse this last liberty which I shall take in it, that of inclosing to you these two papers for Mr H.

I had the pleasure of writing to you on the 23. ulto. That letter will await your return to Monticello, where I hope this will find you in good health.

The papers mention the appointment to the consulship at Paris, of the late incumbent at Havre—This removes one obstacle from the path of poor la Motte—& I observe also that an old incumbent at Cowes, I think, Mr Auldjo, who is an Englishman, is reappointe[d]—This would be an example or authorization also for la Motte—As I do not see his name however among the new appointments, I fear our Lord of the ascendant does not mean to take him up. This is strange & passing strange, as you have had the goodness to interest yourself in his behalf—I have been much tempted to write myself & urge the just claims of this old & faithful servant—but I take for granted that other motives must govern at Washington in such cases—I doubt whether my letter would produce any good effect with Mon: & I fear it would produce a bad effect with Mad:—I have never been rectus in curia with the latter since, on my first return from Europe, instead of subscribing to and confirming one [of]2 his fine dreams, that the Directory were a quintette of good honest souls—purely republican, & above all things desirous to be kind & affectionate to this sister Republic, I scouted the vision & assured him that they were really & bona fide, most consummate villains & having no other idea than power & plunder—Mad’s idea was to me so new & so absurd & fell on me so abruptly that I probably betrayed some kind of ridiculing sneer, without intending me—but l’amour propre blessé seldom forgets & never forgives—so I must submit to the penalty of my inadvertence.

Under all circumstances & at all times believe me, dear sir, most sincerely & perfectly yours

W: Short

RC (MHi); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 16 May 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to George Flower, 18 Aug. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello” by “mail to Milton Va”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 7 May.

mr h: David Higginbotham. For the enclosed bond and mortgage, see TJ to Short, 10 Feb. 1813, the enclosure printed there, and notes to both documents. On 20 Apr. 1816 the United States Senate confirmed the appointment of Isaac Cox Barnet to the consulship at paris and of Thomas auldjo to that at Cowes, England (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:43, 46 [16, 20 Apr. 1816]). Auldjo had previously served as vice-consul at the port of Poole, but the British government had allowed him to reside at Cowes (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 39 vols. description ends , 19:316). The lord of the ascendant was Secretary of State James Monroe (mon:), whom many correctly expected to succeed James Madison (mad:) as president of the United States.

rectus in curia: “free from charge or offense” (Black’s Law Dictionary description begins Bryan A. Garner and others, eds., Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed., 1999 description ends ). Short’s first return to the United States occurred in 1802. His conversation with James Madison about the French revolutionary directory may have occurred in September 1802, when both men were guests at Monticello (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 39 vols. description ends , 38:400–1). l’amour propre blessé: “wounded self-esteem.”

1Manuscript: “mortgge.”

2Omitted word editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Auldjo, Thomas search
  • Barnet, Isaac Cox; as consul search
  • Delamotte, Mr.; seeks consulship at Le Havre search
  • France; Directory search
  • France; oppression in search
  • France; W. Short on search
  • Gibson, Patrick; W. Short’s account with search
  • Higginbotham, David; and W. Short’s land search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); sale of to D. Higginbotham search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and W. Short’s property search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; Bond from David Higginbotham to William Short search
  • Le Havre, France; consul at search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and W. Short search
  • Monroe, James; and appointments search
  • Monroe, James; presidential prospects of search
  • Paris; U.S. consul at search
  • Short, William; and consulship for Delamotte search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Short, William; and J. Madison search
  • Short, William; letters from search
  • Short, William; on France search
  • Short, William; on J. Monroe search
  • Short, William; returns to U.S. search