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MONTICELLO, August 20, 1814.

DEAR SIR, Since my short letter by Mr. Rives I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two favors of June 9 and July 30. A few days before the last came to hand I had written to Colonel Monroe, and prayed him to name a day in the autumn (when the fall of the leaves shall have rendered a survey in the woods practicable), and to procure an engagement from Champe Carter to attend and let us have a surveyor and arbitrators on the spot to settle the questioned boundary. I delayed answering your last letter in the hope that he might in the instant of receiving my letter write to me off-hand. Having failed to do this, the time of his answering is too indefinite to postpone further the giving you the present state and prospect of the business which you desire.

The state of the case is this: John Carter, eldest son of the family, sold to Monroe, bounding him "on the South by a run on the Eastern side of Dick's plantation, and running thence to the source of the said run," but no line was actually marked or examined by either party. It is said that John Carter had no right to sell, but that Champe, from family considerations, concluded to acquiesce. I do not know that this fact is true, having it only from neighborhood report. Champe afterwards sold to you, and attended us in surveying and marking the line.

Ascending the run far above Dick's plantation, it forked, each run being equally large, and extending nearly to the top of the mountain, but the southern branch something the nearest. We knew nothing of the line specified in Monroe's deed, but Mr. Carter, professing to know it and to lead the surveyor, started from the fork and run a straight line between the two branches to the top of the mountain, thus dividing the interval which the two branches rendered doubtful; but not a word of any doubt was then expressed; I presumed he knew what was right and was doing it. Colonel Monroe, sometime after his return from Europe, mentioned to me in conversation that the line as run between you and him by Mr. Carter, was, as he had been informed, questionable, but he could not then explain to me how; nor did I ever learn how till after the sale to Higgenbotham. Indeed from the continued silence on the subject I believed the claim dropped till I received a line from Higginbotham informing me Mr. Hay had notified him of it, and Colonel Monroe soon afterwards called on me, showed his deed, and explained to me for the first time the nature of his claim. We agreed that Mr. Carter should be desired to attend, that we would take two neighbors as arbitrators, go on the land and settle the question on view. The topics of your right are these: I. If Champe Carter's confirmation of John's sale were necessary to supply the defect of title, then the demarcation of the line which he made in person was

a declaration of the precise extent to which he did confirm. II. The run, which was made the boundary to its source, branching by the way, and each branch being equally entitled to be considered as the run whose source was to decide, neither could claim exclusively to be called Dick's run; the compromise made by Mr. Carter by running the line between them was a fair one, and after an acquiescence of 21 years, and that length of actual and adverse possession in you, ought to be considered as satisfactory to the parties, and especially when no effective step had been taken to maintain a contrary claim till after the land had been long notified as for sale, and a sale actually made; the delay of the settlement has entirely rested with the other party. Price, who knows the two branches, thinks there may be about 25 acres between them, one half of which only is within the actual line.

Next, as to the prospect. On closing this letter I shall write to John Carter, who lives in Amherst, for information as to his right and his idea of the boundary, and if his information is of consequence I shall either get his deposition taken by consent of parties, or require his personal attendance as a witness. I must press upon Colonel Monroe the fixing a day when he can attend, and some one to act for him if he does not attend. Champe Carter, I suppose, will readily agree to be bound if he does not attend. I should have been very confident of finishing this at Monroe's next visit, for he


is anxious to finish it, but that the call of Congress, the nineteenth of September will render his attendance difficult. If so, I will endeavor to prevail on him to appoint some one here to act for him; for his personal presence cannot be of much importance.

I think the downfall of Bonaparte a great blessing for Europe, which never could have had peace while he was in power. Every national society there also will be restored to their ancient limits, and to the kind of government, good or bad, which they choose. I believe the restoration of the Bourbons is the only point on which France could be rallied, and that their re-establishment is better for that country than civil wars, whether they should be a peaceable nation under a fool or a warring one under a military despot of genius. To us alone this brings misfortune. It rids of all other enemies a tyrannical nation, fully armed, and deeply embittered by the wrongs they have done us. They may greatly distress individuals in their circumstances; but the soil and the men will remain unconquerable by them, and drinking deeper daily a more deadly, unquenchable, and everlasting hatred to them. How much less money would it cost to them and pain to us, to nourish mutual affections and mutual interests and happiness. But the destructive passions seem to have been implanted in man, as one of the obstacles to his too great multiplication. While we are thus gnawed, however, by

national hatreds we retire with delight into the bosom of our individual friendships; in the full feeling of which I salute you affectionately.


MONTICELLO, December 16, 1814.

DEAR SIR,-By the condition of the roads and repeated abandonments of the mail by the way, your favor of November 25 did not come to hand until it was certain from its contents you had left Washington. I have delayed acknowledging it therefore till you might have reached Albany, and indeed the only object of doing it thus late is to express my regret at not having had the pleasure of receiving you here, which would have been a gratification, for as to public affairs I am entirely withdrawn from every degree of intermeddling with them, and almost of reading or thinking of them. My confidence in those at the helm is so entire as to satisfy me without enquiry that they are going right, and I prefer reading the histories of other times, which furnish amusement without anxiety. Writing, too, is becoming laborious to me

1 Horatio Gates Spafford, a warm political friend of Jefferson, was the author of a Geography of the United States, a Gazetteer of the State of New York, and a small pamphlet entitled "Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel Carriages," a subject in which Jefferson was much interested. He was born in Tinmouth, Vt., Feb. 18, 1778, and died in Lansingburgh, N. Y., Aug. 7, 1832. See Hough's American Biographical Notes, p. 370.—Eds.

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