Thomas Jefferson Papers

Sloan & Wise to Thomas Jefferson, 18 September 1817

From Sloan & Wise

Chambersburg, Sept. 18, 1817.

Respected Sir,

Contrary to our wishes, but in justification, of our private reputations, we feel it an imperious duty to write you on a subject, that we are almost certain, must be unpleasant, to you.

We have been made the instruments, (from present appearances, An imposition)1 of giving publicity to a “letter from Virginia” in which it is said that the “chief of the elevated groupe” at Monticello expressed an opinion favorable to one of Our candidates for governor and unfavorable to the other. This letter has been disavowed by another, bearing the signature of “Th: Jefferson;” and on the strength of this disavowal, we promply gave in our paper, a statement that we thought, would remove any unfavorable prejudices which might be excited by the letter first mentioned.

An anxiety to learn, personally from you, whether any conversation similar to one noticed above—or whether there were any visitors at Monticello on the 11th July—or whether you were at Monticello on that day, has induced us to trouble you on the subject.

It is not for any idle gratification or to subserve the views of any party or set of men, that we have adopted this course—but that we may remove any imputations that rests on us as the proprietors of a public journal—and to do justice to all parties

An answer from you will be gratefully received from

Your sincere well wishers,
Sloan & Wise,
 Editors Franklin Republican,
  Chambersburg, Penn

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 25 Sept. 1817 from “Sloane & Rise” and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joel Yancey, 3 Nov. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, Esq. Monticello, (Virg.)”; franked; postmarked Chambersburg, 18 Sept.

In May 1817 Sloan & Wise took over the Chambersburg Democratic Republican and renamed it the Franklin Republican. John Sloan was sole proprietor by April 1819 and edited the paper until his death in 1824 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:835, 837; Philadelphia Weekly Aurora, 23 June 1817; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 4 Sept. 1824).

For the letter from virginia, see first enclosure to John Goodman, Joseph Reed, Isaac Boyer, and William J. Duane to TJ, 6 Aug. 1817. The disavowal was TJ’s reply of [22] Aug. 1817 to Goodman and his associates.

1Preceding two words and closing parenthesis interlined.

Index Entries

  • Franklin Republican (Chambersburg, Pa., newspaper) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; spurious letter allegedly from search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; fictional visit to search
  • newspapers; Chambersburg, Pa.,Franklin Republican search
  • newspapers; publish false TJ quotes search
  • Pennsylvania; elections in search
  • Republican party; in Pa. search
  • Sloan, John; as newspaper editor search
  • Sloan & Wise (Chambersburg firm); identified search
  • Sloan & Wise (Chambersburg firm); letter from search
  • Sloan & Wise (Chambersburg firm); publishes false TJ quotes search