Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Stephen Girard, 12 July 1806

Washington July 12. 06.


Presuming that the inclosed letter from Dr Deveze to yourself with a duplicate of one from him to me, were forwarded to me by you, I take the liberty of returning you the former. your knolege of the constitutions & organisation of the American governments will enable you to give to your friend Dr. Deveze as satisfactory an answer as I could give. the care of the public health, as you know, is not among those powers which have been transferred to the general government; but has been reserved to those of the states. whatever claims therefore may accrue to any individual for discoveries useful to health, or for services rendered in that line, can only be judged of by the government of the state in which the service is rendered. you are therefore sensible that the government of Pensylvania, or perhaps the local one of Philadelphia, is that to which such a claim must be addressed, neither the Executive, nor even the legislature of the US. having authority to confer any the smallest reward for this service.   I recieved the original of Dr. Deveze’s letter in one from mr Adet, to whom I have stated in substance what I do to you; so that I may hope that Dr. Deveze will recieve the proper explanations. Accept my salutations and assurances of great respect.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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