Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 4 September 1807

Monticello Sep. 4. 07.

Dear Sir

Your’s of the 1st. came to hand yesterday. the event has been what was evidently intended from the beginning of the trial, that is to say, not only to clear Burr, but to prevent the evidence from ever going before the world. but this latter case must not take place. it is now therefore more than ever indispensable that not a single witness be paid or permitted to depart until his testimony has been committed to writing either as delivered in court, or as taken by yourself in the presence of any of Burr’s counsel who may chuse to attend to cross examine. these whole proceedings will be laid before Congress that they may decide, whether the defect has been in the evidence of guilt, or in the law, or in the application of the law, and that they may provide the proper remedy for the past & the future. I must pray you also to have an authentic copy of the record made out (without saying for what) and to send it to me: if the judge’s opinions make not a part of it, then I must ask a copy of them, either under his hand, if he delivers one signed, or duly proved by affidavit.

This criminal is preserved to become the rallying point of all the disaffected, & the worthless of the US. and to be the pivot on which all the intrigues & the conspiracies which foreign governments may wish to disturb us with are to turn. if he is convicted of the misdemeanor, the judge must in decency give us respite by some short confinement of him; but we must expect it to be very short. be assured yourself and communicate the same assurance to your collegues that your & their zeal, & abilities have been displayed in this affair to my entire satisfaction and your own honour. I salute you with great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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