PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Marquis de Lafayette (March 10, 1781)

SUMMARY

In this letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, dated March 10, 1781, Thomas Jefferson describes the difficulties funding the Revolutionary War and keeping militia in the field.

FULL TEXT

Richmond March 10th. 1781

Sir

Intending that this shall await your arrival in this State, I with great joy welcome you on that Event. I am induced to it from the very great Esteem I bear your Personal Character, and the Hopes I entertain of your relieving us from our Enemy within this State. Could any Circumstance have rendered your Presence more desireable or more necessary, it is the unfortunate one which obliges me to transmit you the inclosed Papers.

I trust that your future Acquaintance with the Executive of the State will evince to you that among their faults is not to be counted a want of disposition to second the Views of the Commander against our common Enemy. We are too much interested in the present Scene and have too much at Stake to leave a doubt on that Head. Mild Laws, a People not used to war and prompt obedience, a want of the Provisions of War and means of procuring them render our orders often ineffectual, oblige us to temporize and when we cannot accomplish an object in one way to attempt it in another. Your knowledge of the Circumstances with a temper accomodated to them ensure me your Cooperation in the best way we can when we shall not be able to pursue the Way we would wish.

I still hope you will find our Preparations not far short of the Information I took the Liberty of giving you in my Letter of the 8th. instant. I shall be very happy to receive your freest Applications for whatever may be necessary for the Public Service, and to convince you of our Disposition to promote it as far as the abilities of the State and Powers of the Executive will enable us; and have the Honour to be with the Highest Esteem & Respect Sir Your, &c.,

T. J.

FURTHER READING

The Constitution of Virginia (1776) An act for better securing the payment of levies and restraint of vagrants, and for making provision for the poor (October 1776) An Act for speedily recruiting the Virginia Regiments on the continental establishment, and for raising additional troops of Volunteers (May 20, 1777) A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779) An Act establishing a Board of War (June 1779) The Election of Jefferson as Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 1, 1779) Thomas Jefferson’s Acceptance Speech for the Position of Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 2, 1779) An act for the removal of the seat of government (June 18, 1779) An act for re-enlisting the troops of this state in the continental army, and for other purposes (October 1779) Thomas Jefferson’s Election to a Second Term as Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 2, 1780) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Preston (June 15, 1780) An act to revive and amend an act entitled ‘An act for giving farther powers to the governour and council’ (October 1780) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (October 26, 1780) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Virginia Delegates in Congress (October 27, 1780) Remonstrance to Congress (1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Horatio Gates (February 17, 1781) Letter from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson (February 21, 1781) Letter from Lafayette to Thomas Jefferson (February 21, 1781) Letter from Edmund Pendleton to James Madison (March 26, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the House of Delegates (May 28, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (May 28, 1781) The Need for a New Governor of Virginia: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (May 29, 1781) The Election of Governor Nelson: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 12, 1781) An Investigation into the Conduct of Thomas Jefferson: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (December 12, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe (May 20, 1782) “Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith” by Isaac Jefferson (1847)

CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
Jefferson, Thomas. Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Marquis de Lafayette (March 10, 1781). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/letter-from-thomas-jefferson-to-the-marquis-de-lafayette-march-10-1781.
MLA Citation:
Jefferson, Thomas. "Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Marquis de Lafayette (March 10, 1781)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 19 May. 2021
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