The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


While Mr. Girardin was in this neighborhood writing his continuation of Burke's history, I had suggested to him a proper notice of the establishment of the committee of correspondence here in 1773. …The transaction took place in the session of Assembly of March, 1773. Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Frank Lee, your father and myself, met by agreement, one evening, about the close of the session, at the Raleigh Tavern, to consult on the measures which the circumstances of the times seemed to call for. We agreed, in result, that concert in the operations of the several colonies was indispensable; and that to produce this, some channel of correspondence between them must be opened; that therefore, we would propose to our House the appointment of a committee of correspondence, which should be authorized and instructed to write to the Speakers of the House of Representatives of the several colonies, recommending the appointment of similar committees on their part, who, by a communication of sentiment on the transactions threatening us all, might promote a harmony of action salutary to all. I remember that Mr. Carr and myself, returning home together, and conversing on the subject by the way, concurred in the conclusion that that measure must inevitably beget the meeting of a Congress of Deputies from all the colonies, for the purpose of uniting all in the same principles and measures for the maintenance of our rights. I am certain I remember also, that a similar proposition, and nearly cotemporary, was made by Massachusetts, and that our northern messenger passed theirs on the road.

to Dabney Carr, 19 January 1816