Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MONROE - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO JAMES MONROE - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
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TO JAMES MONROE
Monto. Feb. 5. 24
—The inclosed letter is from a person entirely unknown to me. Yet it seems to expect a confidence which prudence cannot give to a stranger, and as he seems to write under your authority I take the liberty of confiding my answer to yourself directly & of returning his paper to you. I do not know that the publicn of the papers of the old Congress could be objected to, except such as might contain personalties of no consequence to history. But care should be taken that they should be impartially published and not all on one side. We have seen how false a face may be given to history by the garbling of documents. And even during the old Congress and in it’s body we had our whigs & tories. Mr. Wagner says that for the present he acknoleges no party, and supposes his continuance in office during 6 y. of my admn a proof of his fidelity and impartiality even while he was a party man. But every one knows that the clerks of the offices had been appd under federal heads1 and that I never medled with none of them. His conversion from vehemence to neutrality, having taken place only since his withdrawing from the Editorship of the Baltimore Federalist, the proofs of it have not yet reached our part of the country. Yet his word need not be doubted farther than as we all believe ourselves neutral. He is certainly capable of the task, and has the advge of being familiar with the arrangmt of the papers, yet not more so than the gentlemen now in that office & who have been longer in it than he was. On the whole my opinion is fable to the publicn when it can be fairly made but that it’s want is not so pressing but that it is better to let it wait till it can be so done as to give to history it’s true face.
I shall be among those most rejoiced at seeing La Fayette again. But I hope Congress is prepared to go thro’ with their compliment worthily. That they do not mean to invite him merely to dine, that provision will be made for his expences here, which you know he cannot afford, and that they will not send him back empty handed. This would place us under indelible disgrace in Europe. Some 3. or 4. good townships, in Missouri, or Louisiana or Alabama &c. should be in readiness for him, and may restore his family to the opulence which his virtues have lost to them. I suppose the time of the visit will be left to himself, as the death of Louis XVIII which has probably taken place or soon must do will produce a crisis in his own country from which he could not absent himself by a visit of compliment. Ever & affectly yours.
[1 ]“Who appd federalists only and exclusively, that the whole mass of them were federal.”—T. J.