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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

1785 to captain john paul jones


I

am, dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.

LETTER LXXXVIII.--TO MRS. SPROWLE, August 10, 1785

TO MRS. SPROWLE.

Paris, August 10, 1785.

Madam,

In your letter of June the 21st, you asked my opinion whether yourself or your son might venture to go to Virginia, to claim your possessions there? I had the honor of writing you, on the 5th of July, that you might safely go there; that your person would be sacredly safe, and free from insult. I expressed my hopes, too, that the Assembly of Virginia would, in the end, adopt the just and useful measure of restoring property unsold, and the price of that actually sold. In yours of July the 30th, you entreat my influence with the Assembly for retribution, and that, if I think your personal presence in Virginia would facilitate that end, you were willing and ready to go. This seems to propose to me to take on myself the solicitation of your cause, and that you will go, if I think your personal presence will be auxiliary to my applications. I feel myself obliged to inform you frankly, that it is improper for me to solicit your case with the Assembly of Virginia. The application can only go with propriety from yourself, or the minister of your court to America, whenever there shall be one.

If you think the sentiments expressed in my former letter will serve you, you are free to exhibit it to members individually; but I wish the letter not to be offered to the Assembly as a body, or referred to in any petition or memorial to them.

I am, with much respect, Madam,

your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

LETTER LXXXIX.--TO CAPTAIN JOHN PAUL JONES, August 13, 1785

TO CAPTAIN JOHN PAUL JONES.

Paris, August 13, 1785.

Sir,

Supposing you may be anxious to hear from hence, though there should be nothing interesting to communicate, I write by Mr. Cairnes merely to inform you, that I have, as yet, received no answer from the Marechal de Castries. I am in daily expectation of one. Should it not be received soon, I shall urge it again, which I wish to avoid however, if possible; because I think it better to await with patience a favorable decision, than by becoming importunate, to produce unfavorable dispositions, and, perhaps, a final determination of the same complexion. Should my occupations prevent my writing awhile, be assured that it will only be as long as I have nothing to communicate, and that as soon as I receive any answer, it shall be forwarded to you.


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