Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Wilkinson, 20 September 1807

Monticello Sep. 20. 07.

Dear Sir

I recieved your favors of the 13th. & 15th. on my return to this place on the 17th. and such was the mass of business accumulated in my absence that I have not till now been able to take up your letters. you are certainly free to make use of any of the papers we put into mr Hay’s hands with a single reservation. to wit, some of them are expressed to be confidential, & others are of that kind which I always consider as confidential, conveying censure on particular individuals, & therefore never communicate them beyond the immediate executive circle. I accordingly write to this effect to mr Hay.   the scenes which have been acted at Richmond are such as have never before been exhibited in any country where all regard to public character has not yet been thrown off. they are equivalent to a proclamation of impunity to every traiterous combination which may be formed to destroy the Union: and they preserve a head for all such combinations as may be formed within, and a center for all the intrigues & machinations which foreign governments may nourish to disturb us. however they will produce an amendment to the constitution which, keeping the judges independant of the Executive, will not leave them so of the nation.   I shall leave this place on the 30th. for Washington. it is with pleasure that I percieve from all the expressions of public sentiment, that the virulence of those whose treasons you have defeated only place you on higher ground in the opinion of the nation. I salute you with great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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