Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Armstrong, Jr., 30 May 1806

Monticello May 30. 06.

Dear Sir

Mrs. Stewart, widow of the late Genl. Stewart, proposing to go to France, in prosecution of a claim she has against that government, has asked of me a letter introductory to you, expressing my wish ‘that you should recognise her as an American lady, who has a claim to enforce, depending on it’s own merits, & recommending it, as far as it has merits, to your patronage.’ indispensable considerations have rendered it necessary that I should never give to any person letters of introduction or recommendation yet there are some cases, as the present, where peculiar circumstances compel me to say that I shall make a proper mention of the case in a private letter. I have done so in the present, altho’ without it I knew you would be urged by the duties of your office, as well as by your knowledge of the late General Stewart, of mrs Stewart, her connections & standing in this country, to give her all the aid which justice would permit, & more than that I could in no instance ask or approve. on this ground alone I write the present letter, & send it through the office of state.

The aspect of our affairs at the last meeting of Congress was gloomy. since that however they have brightened in other quarters. if a corresponding prospect can but take place in the matter with which you are charged, if a settlement with France & Spain can be effected, which shall secure indemnities for the spoliations formerly acknoledged by Spain, shall make the Floridas ours, & for a sum not too serious, it will secure to us a long prospect of peace and will render the next meeting of Congress a meeting of gladness, & conciliation, & produce ineffable satisfaction to the whole body of the American people. God send us this happiness, & to you health & success. Accept my friendly salutations, & assurances of continued satisfaction, esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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