Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Alexander Otis, 15 February 1821

To George Alexander Otis

Monticello Feb. 15. 21.

Dear Sir

I have just now recieved your favor of Jan. 30. and confirm, by my belief, mr Jay’s criticism on the passages quoted from Botta. I can answer for it’s truth from this state Southwardly, and Northwardly, I believe, to New York, for which state mr Jay is himself a competent witness. what, Eastward of that, might be the dispositions towards England before the commencement of hostilities I know not. before that I never had heard a whisper of disposition to separate from Great Britain. and, after that, it’s possibility was contemplated with affliction by all. writing is so slow and painful to me that I cannot go into details, but must refer you to Girardin’s history of Virginia pa. 134. and Appendix No 12. where you will find some evidence of what the sentiment was at the moment, and given at the moment. I salute you with great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (CtY: Franklin Collection). PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Thomas Appleton to TJ, 23 Aug. 1819; torn at seal, with two words rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “Mr George A. Otis”; endorsed by TJ.

In the fourth volume of The History of Virginia; commenced by John Burk, and continued by Skelton Jones and Louis Hue Girardin (Petersburg, 1816; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 4 [no. 127]), a discussion of American attitudes about separation from Great Britain starting on pa. 134 is supplemented by appendix no 12, which prints “extracts from letters tending to prove that the American declaration of Independence was the effect of ministerial oppression, and not the result of a preconcerted plan.” TJ wrote all three of the excerpted letters in 1775 (appendix, pp. 5–8, quote on p. 5; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, James P. McClure, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 43 vols. description ends , 1:165–7, 240–3, 268–70).

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; books on search
  • American Revolution; disputes over origin of search
  • books; on American Revolution search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; History of the War of the Independence of the United States of America (trans. G. A. Otis) search
  • Burk, John Daly; The History of Virginia search
  • Declaration of Independence; mentioned search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; and J. D. Burk’sHistory of Virginia search
  • History of the War of the Independence of the United States of America (C. G. G. Botta; trans. G. A. Otis) search
  • Jay, John; and C. G. G. Botta’sHistory of the War of the Independence of the United States of America (trans. G. A. Otis) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; wrist injury search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; American Revolution search
  • Jones, Skelton; and J. D. Burk’sHistory of Virginia search
  • Otis, George Alexander; letters to search
  • Otis, George Alexander; translatesHistory of the War of the Independence of the United States of America (C. G. G. Botta) search
  • The History of Virginia (J. D. Burk, S. Jones, and L. H. Girardin); TJ recommends search