1803.079: Open Letter to Gabriel Jones.

Published: 1803

Full Title: July 20, 1803. To Gabriel Jones, You have basely attempted to impeach the honesty and traduce the character of the Chief Magistrate of the United States ... I shall leave you to justify yourself to you friends, for having led them into the error of resting one of the most vehement attacks upon the moral character of the President upon so slender a foundation as your reputation. Veritas.

Author: Grymes, Philip Ludwell (1766-1805), as Veritas.

Place Issued: Virginia

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 1 sheet [2 pgs.]; (broadside, printed rector and verso).


Only known copy is held by the Library of Congress. Text is an attack on the character and reputation of Gabriel Jones (1724-1806); an ardent Federalist and Rockingham County lawyer, Jones had recently circulated accusations that he had been cheated monetarily by Jefferson during the Revolutionary War; in this open letter, Grymes, recently elected to the Council of State, detailed how Jones had used his social and economic standing to compel ill-educated county-court justices in the Shenandoah Valley to act contrary to law in the many suits he filed against his neighbors, so enriching himself while impoverishing the targets of his suits; Grymes suggests that the tactics Jones commonly employed outweighed any of which he accused Jefferson, so bringing into question the validity and veracity of those accusations, so the use of the pen name Veritas (truth). Jones responded later in the year with a 32-page pamphlet (1803.080) attempting to refute Grymes' argument. Sheet lacks colophon; cases cited by the author within were heard in the courts that met at Winchester and Staunton, indicating the letter's likely origin in one or the other place; yet the dearth of Republican presses in the Valley in 1803 suggests a possible origin for this title from elsewhere in Virginia, so the indeterminacy here.

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