The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


It is true that I received, very long ago, your favors of September the 9th and 15th, and that I have been in daily intention of answering them, fully and confidentially; but you know, such a correspondence between you and me cannot pass through the post, nor even by the couriers of ambassadors. The French packet boats being discontinued, I am now obliged to watch opportunities by Americans going to London, to write my letters to America. Hence it has happened, that these, the sole opportunities by which I can write to you without fear, have been lost, by the multitude of American letters I had to write. I now determine, without foreseeing any such conveyance, to begin my letter to you, so that when a conveyance occurs, I shall only have to add recent occurrences. Notwithstanding the interval of my answer which has taken place, I must beg a continuance of your correspondence; because I have great confidence in your communications, and since Mr. Adams' departure, I am in need of authentic information from that country.

to Thomas Paine, 23 December 1788