Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Stokely, 2 December 1807

Washington City Decr. 2d 1807

Venerable Sir

At a crisis like this when every American ought to be on the alert, when alarm echoes from Every quarter I am aware that your attention to Important things must be Greatly engaged Still I hope you will excuse the Author of this address tho it may be apparently Trivial. As the Vigelant eye of an American at this time even in Florida might not be amiss—I am one of those beings, Sir, that devoted Several years of my life to the revolutionary war, when a boy, without any equivolent reward, Except the invaluable Privilege of Speaking & of writing and that of Being Victorious, over a detestable foe, nor do I ask anything Else; but to retain these acquisitions: But as a Political right I claim the Support and Patronage of my Country, in all things that may Probabelly tend to its Advantage and to my benefit—I presume Sir, that my enimies willnot, nor cannot accuse me of neglect or carelessness about any of my undertakings, or Impeach my Fidelity to my Country. My abhorence to British Tyrany & Insolence, and my detestation to Burr’s conspiracy, is I conceive, well known to you Sir—I have always thought the Spanards Faithful to their pretentions Tho Jealous of Others, & I hope and believe they are now friendly disposed towards our Government, as my Pecuniary circumstances & other causes at this moment Invite me to West Florida, and Sir as the Spanards in that Province have Just cause to Suspect most Strangers, that may be amongst them, for British emissaries, or disciples of Burr, I solicit your Patronage so fare as to grant me Some kind of written document, as in your wisdom may Seem consistent, to Shield me from unjust Suspicions as their Jealousy might be injurous, and their Confidence might be advantagious to Both my Country & myself—Especially If an attack Should be made on our Southern possessions while I remain in that quarter. (as every little helps)—I contemplate leaving this City tomorrow or next day & shall call at the Post office each day with an Expectation of meeting your Abprobation & Support, conserning the Premises: but at all events I shall prosecute that tour Imediatly, unless some unforeseen event forbids it.

I am Honorable Sir with due respect your obdt. Humble Servant

John Stokely

of Wood Coy Virga.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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