The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


It was to be expected that the enemy would endeavor to sow tares between us, that they might divide us and our friends. Every consideration satisfies me you will be on your guard against this, as I assure you I am strongly. I hear of one stratagem so imposing and so base that it is proper I should notice it to you. Mr. Munford, who is here, says he saw at New York before he left it, an original letter of mine to Judge Breckenridge, in which are sentiments highly injurious to you. He knows my handwriting, and did not doubt that to be genuine. I enclose you a copy taken from the press copy of the only letter I ever wrote to Judge Breckenridge in my life: the press copy itself has been shown to several of our mutual friends here. Of consequence, the letter seen by Mr. Munford must be a forgery, and if it contains a sentiment unfriendly or disrespectful to you, I affirm it solemnly to be a forgery; as also if it varies from the copy enclosed. With the common trash of slander I should not think of troubling you; but the forgery of one's handwriting is too imposing to be neglected. A mutual knowledge of each other furnishes us with the best test of the contrivances which will be practised by the enemies of both.

to Aaron Burr, 1 February 1801