James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 6 September 1804

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello Sep. 6. 04.

Th: J. to mr. Madison.

Should we not write to the Governors of S. Carolina & Georgia to furnish us without delay with authentic statements of the illegalities said to have been committed in their harbours by one or more French privateers?1 As the proceedings of the British vessels at N. York must be laid before Congress to found measures of coercion, peaceable & of force, by giving in the facts relative to the French privateer, me [sic] may make our measures less pointed, & less offensive. I have been obliged to defer my visit to Bedford,2 and probably shall not go at all. We shall hope to see you next week. I salute you with affection.

RC (DLC); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1Jefferson had doubtless read an 11 May 1804 letter in the New York American Citizen of 27 Aug. 1804 that referred to “a French cruizer on the coast of Georgia and Carolina, committing great havoc, on the British commerce.” Reports of French depredations near Charleston and Savannah were also printed in the Charleston Courier of 1, 3, and 4 May and in the Annapolis Maryland Gazette of 31 May 1804.

2Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation was in Bedford County, Virginia (Malone, Jefferson and His Time description begins Dumas Malone, Jefferson and His Time (6 vols.; Boston, 1948–81). description ends , 1:162).

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