Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson’s Notice for Anonymous Insertion in Richmond Enquirer, [ca. 7 January 1822]


Notice for Anonymous Insertion in Richmond Enquirer

[ca. 7 Jan. 1822]

In our paper of the 3d under the head of the ‘Next President’ we quoted from the Petersbg Intelligencer the information of a Gentleman from Columbia S.C. mentioning that in a Caucus of members assembled there for the nomn of a1 Presidt2 a letter was read from mr Jefferson pointing to this object.3 we are authorised by a friend of mr J’s much in his society & intimacy to declare4 that that gent. never wrote such a letter, never put pen to paper on that subject, and studiously avoids all conversn5 on it.

Dft (DLC); in TJ’s hand; on verso of portion of reused address cover to TJ; with Dft of covering letter subjoined. Printed in Richmond Enquirer, 10 Jan. 1822, under the heading “AUTHENTIC!”

Images of this newspaper article and the manuscripts on which it was based are reproduced elsewhere in this volume.

On 17 Jan. 1822 the editors of the Richmond Enquirer further reported (two words editorially corrected) that “The Petersburg Intelligencer seems still to doubt the authenticity of the article on the 10th Jan. He says that ‘the word of one gentleman is as good as the word of another gentleman’—that when Mr. Jefferson himself says ‘he has not written such a letter, we, shall believe him.’—We vouch in the most positive manner for the article we have published.—We repeat, Mr. Jefferson ‘never wrote such a letter, never put pen to paper on that subject, and studiously avoids all conversation on it.’ If this be not so, no affirmation is to be believed, and honor itself is a cheat. The Intelligencer relies upon the word of his respectable informant, ‘that it was certainly reported at Columbia, a letter of the character mentioned had been received from Mr. Jefferson.’ Now, we happen to have the best information also from that quarter. Mr. J. may have spoken in [very] high terms of Mr. Lowndes—he may put that [sentiment] upon paper. It is the just sentiment of almost every man in the nation:—but further than this was not said at Columbia by men who were conversant with the facts. No letter from Mr. J. pointing to the Presidential Election was relied on: but they did rely upon the high opinion which he is said to have expressed about Mr. Lowndes.”

1Richmond Enquirer here adds “future.”

2Preceding six words interlined. Remainder of sentence transposed by TJ from its original position following “mentioning that.”

3Preceding four words interlined in place of “on this subject was read,” with last two words mistakenly left uncanceled.

4Word interlined in place of “affirm.”

5Reworked from “and cautiously avoids ever even conversing.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; anonymous publications by search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; spurious letter allegedly from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notice for Anonymous Insertion in theRichmond Enquirer search
  • Lowndes, William; allegedly endorsed for president by TJ search
  • newspapers; Petersburg Intelligencer search
  • Petersburg Intelligencer (newspaper) search
  • Richmond Enquirer (newspaper); and election of1824 search
  • Richmond Enquirer (newspaper); and TJ’s alleged presidential endorsement search
  • South Carolina; presidential caucus in search
  • United States; elections in search