Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Bailie Warden to Thomas Jefferson, 15 May 1820

From David Bailie Warden

Paris,1 15 may–20

Dear Sir,

I beg leave to send you a copy of my letter addressed to the President of the united states for the purpose of procuring an answer from him, or from the Secretary of state concerning my removal from office. Having abandoned all claim upon the government on account of past services, and determined to live by my own resources, I feel it my duty, in my present situation, to renew this demand, which in the opinion of my friends, is both reasonable2 and just. I only ask for some official document which may enable me to terminate this unfortunate subject. It should never have been renewed3 to you4 but for the gratitude which your friendship inspires,5 and the desire to be worthy of its continuance by communicating to you every thing which may concern the interests of the united states.

The lapse of five years, the facility of living as a Bachelor, the literary encouragement which I have lately receivd, the sudden and unexpected changes of fortune which have so often occurred among the circle of my acquaintance in this great City, and the uncertainty of life have completely cured me of the only ambition which I strongly felt, that of becoming one day Envoy or Minister of our great Republic.

I am, dear Sir, with great respect, your devoted Servt

D. B. Warden

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The Honb Thomas Jefferson, Monticella”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Aug. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. FC (MdHi: Warden Letterbook); entirely in Warden’s hand; lacking closing and signature. Enclosure: Warden to James Monroe, Paris, 1 Aug. 1819, stating that he stands by his conduct representing the United States in France despite his subsequent removal from office and the malignity of his enemies; referencing his disputes with Commodore John Rodgers, Ruth Baldwin Barlow, and William H. Crawford; calling on Monroe as president to redress his complaints; and suggesting that if his grievances are not addressed he will present his case to the United States Congress, the American public, and his distinguished friends in Europe (Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 216:38515–25, in Warden’s hand, at head of text: “Copy,” at foot of text: “His Excellency James Monroe, President of the united States”; FC in Lb in NN: Warden Papers).

1Word not in FC.

2Preceding two words interlined in FC in place of “fair.”

3Preceding six words reworked in FC from “I should never have again mentioned it to you.”

4Preceding two words interlined.

5RC: “inpires.” FC: “inspires.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; as secretary of state search
  • Barlow, Ruth Baldwin (Joel Barlow’s wife); dispute with D. B. Warden search
  • Crawford, William Harris; and D. B. Warden’s removal as consul search
  • Monroe, James; and D. B. Warden’s removal as U.S. consul search
  • Rodgers, John; and D. B. Warden’s removal as consul search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters from search
  • Warden, David Bailie; removed from consulship search