New Ark, April 28th. 1806
Since I returned from washington I have advised with several of the most eminent Lawyers of this State, and also of New York who say positively that a pardon from the President of the United States to a person who is subject to a popular or quitam action, will be a sufficient bar to any subsiquent suit—that there can be no doubt but he has the Power, & that in a case like mine they think it his duty to exercise it—if I should recive Your Pardon it would releive me from a State of Anxiety and suspence, which is naturally attendant upon a situation like mine, being liable for a very considerable sum, under a law of which I was ignorant and for the infringement of which not the least—injury has arrisen to the Public—if an amicable suit was commenced against me, it would be a considerable time before it would be decided, and there would be some risk of its being proved collusive—
Under all circumstances, I should prefer receiving a pardon, and I have no doubt when You consider my total ignorance of the Law, & that no injury from its violation has arrisen to the Public, that You will not hesitate to grant it—I will take it as a great favour, if as soon after You receive this letter as You can make it convenient You will inform me of Your determination
With sentiments of the highest respect—I am Sir Your Obedt. Set.
CSmH: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.