Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Christopher Rankin, 28 March 1822

To Christopher Rankin

March 28. 22.


I duly recieved your favor of the 20th with the paper respecting the line of West Florida, which I now return. of this paper I have not the smallest recollection. it may have been communicated to me while Secretary of State by mr Ellicot when running our Southern boundary. how it came to be in a book of State papers instead of the Office of state may have happened thus: while examining other documents in the book on the same subject, this paper may have been stuck into it and inadvertently left in it. I conjecture this the rather as I have been heretofore obliged to have recourse to the Librarian for lost papers left in like manner sticking in books on the subject to which they belonged. it is possible that if this paper was communicated to me by Ellicot, that the letter inclosing it may be in the Secretary of State’s office. accept the assu[ran]ce of my great respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViW: TC-JP); on verso of reused address cover of Francis W. Gilmer to TJ, 29 Nov. 1819; mutilated at seal, with missing text supplied from Tr; at foot of text: “Mr Christopher Rankin”; endorsed by TJ. Tr (DNA: RG 59, MLR); misdated 20 Mar. 1822; enclosed in Rankin to John Quincy Adams, 8 Apr. 1822. Enclosure: enclosure to Rankin to TJ, 20 Mar. 1822.

TJ was vice president, not secretary of state, when Andrew Ellicott surveyed the southern boundary between the United States and West Florida. The librarian of Congress was George Watterston.

Index Entries

  • Ellicott, Andrew (1754–1820); as surveyor search
  • Ellicott, Andrew (1754–1820); memorandum to, from J. Girault search
  • Girault, John; memorandum of, to A. Ellicott search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as vice president search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • Rankin, Christopher; and land claims search
  • Rankin, Christopher; letter to search
  • State Department, U.S.; papers of search
  • Watterston, George; as librarian of Congress search
  • West Florida; border of search