Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 13 October 1817

To James Monroe

Monticello Oct. 13. 17.

Dear Sir

I recieved last night a letter from M. Cathalan inclosing that for the Secretary of the Navy which I now forward to you. it was left open for my perusal with a request to stick a wafer in it & to forward it. the wish that I should know it’s contents, and the trouble of copying so long a dispatch are I suppose his apology for this little irregularity. it proves the intrigues of Fitch, the testiness of Chauncey (not to give it a harder name,) and with the correspondence of Gamble, what an admirable contrivance a navy is for begetting ill blood and wars between nations. but we are at present under a navy-fever which must take it’s course and be permitted to wear itself off.

Altho’ I know how much you are oppressed with reading, I must still request you to read Cathalan’s statement, & also his correspondence with Gamble, who after a letter of great insolence was honorable enough to make just acknolegement to the health office of Marseilles. the reading this despatch will save you all future trouble on the subject. the printed paper & it’s endorsement is not worth reading because merely a document to prove Fitch’s conduct. we were under a mistake in supposing Cathalan might be connected in business with Dodge. I had forgotten that he had for several years been withdrawn from all private & mercantile business. his statement of the fact in this letter recalled it to my memory. affectionately & respectfully your’s

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers); at foot of text: “The President of the US.”; endorsed by Monroe. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: see postscript and second enclosure to Stephen Cathalan to TJ, 16 July 1817.

A missing letter from Monroe to TJ of 13 Oct. 1817 is recorded in SJL as received the following day.

Index Entries

  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); as consul at Marseille search
  • Chauncey, Isaac; as U.S. Navy commodore search
  • Crowninshield, Benjamin Williams; as secretary of the navy search
  • Dodge, Joshua; as consular candidate search
  • Fitch, Asa; as merchant in Marseille search
  • Gamble, Thomas; as American naval commander search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; U.S. Navy search
  • Marseille; quarantine at search
  • Monroe, James; and S. Cathalan search
  • Monroe, James; letters from accounted for search
  • Monroe, James; letters to search
  • Navy Department, U.S.; TJ on search