Thomas Jefferson Papers

Caesar A. Rodney to Thomas Jefferson, 10 July 1822

From Caesar A. Rodney

Wilmington July 10th 1822.

Honored, Revered & Dear Sir,

It is with deep regret I have observed a malevolent attempt, to disturb the repose of your old age, by obtruding on the tranquility of your retirement, with an attack as unfounded & untrue, as it is unjust & ungenerous. Such is the fell Hydra of party, that all its heads cannot be rendered inoffensive, tho’ they may be harmless. In this instance (as in all others) you have obtained a complete triumph over the calumniator who subscribes himself A native Virginian. With the exception of two newspapers printed out of this State, & a contemptible one published1 here, said to be owned by one of a family indebted to your liberality, for the continuance of his father in the office of Collector, all the papers of the U. States, have with one voice espoused your cause. A just tribute paid to exalted worth & virtue.

There is one point of veiw, however, in which I have not yet seen the subject placed, & which appears to me in a legal or mercantile light, to be conclusive to shew, that no money could have been received by you, for the Bill drawn in favor of Le Grand, at Paris. He was not at Cowes to give the money to you for the draft, nor could you have received it from any third person, for the Bill was payable to Le Grand, & not to any other individual. If you had however procured the money for it, you must have made it payable to the person from whom you received the cash, & who in the ordinary course of business would have been paid by the bill in his favor when he got the money for it himself. But the simple fact, that it was drawn in favor of an absent man, who was not present to give you the cash for it, not merely negatives the idea that any money was received by you at the time, the Bill was drawn; but proves conclusively that none could have been received, from the very nature of the transaction.

I was about to notice this circumstance in our Republican paper; but I considered the slander as amply refuted & put at rest already. Please to remember me particularly to Mr & Mrs Randolph, & to beleive me with every sentiment of respect affection & gratitude.

Yours Most Sincerely & Truly

C. A. Rodney

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 17 (reworked from 18) July 1822 and so recorded in SJL.

The contemptible Wilmington Delaware Gazette was a Federalist newspaper owned from 1820 to 1830 by Samuel Harker (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:82). Allen McLane, a Federalist and Revolutionary War veteran, served as customs collector for the Delaware district and revenue inspector at the port of Wilmington, 1797–1829 (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– , 45 vols. description ends , 36:393n; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 1:228, 4:11, 17 [27 Feb. 1797, 10, 11 Mar. 1829]).

le grand: Ferdinand Grand of the Parisian firm Grand & Compagnie. our republican paper: the Wilmington American Watchman and Delaware Advertiser.

1Manuscript: “pubished.”

Index Entries

  • American Watchman and Delaware Advertiser (Wilmington, Del., newspaper) search
  • Delaware Gazette (Wilmington, Del., newspaper) search
  • Grand, Ferdinand; as banker search
  • Harker, Samuel search
  • McLane, Allen; as Wilmington, Del., customs collector search
  • newspapers; WilmingtonAmerican Watchman and Delaware Advertiser search
  • newspapers; WilmingtonDelaware Gazette search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; defends TJ search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; letters from search
  • “A Native of Virginia” (pseudonym); accuses TJ of misuse of public funds search
  • “A Native of Virginia” (pseudonym); opposition to in U.S. newspapers search