Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Two years ago this coming August I was fortunate enough to acquire the manuscript around which this treatise is built. When I acquired it I was of the opijnion that it was in Jefferson's own hand-writing. However, upon investigation I have discovered that although the body of the letter greatly resembles Jefferson's hand, th esignature is not his. Therefore, the most plausible explanation is that this is a contemporary copy of a letter which Jefferson wrote. It was customary in Jefferson's day to have several scriveners whose sole duty was to copy letters. This may be such a copy. Or, it may be a court record copy. There was no way of tracing its origin from the person who possessed it prior to my purchase, but there is still a possibilty that somewhre in the files and records of Jefferson's correspondence there exists the original. Mr. Van Schreeven, the Virginia State Library Archivist, is of the opinion that this is the only copy in existence. There is no record of such a case in the printed lits of Jefferson's manuscripts, but there are hundreds of uncatalogued Jeffersonian papers and the original may be among these.
In writing an historical analysis of this case I have tried to use the specified historical approach. What few facts were available I have tried to track down and draw logical conclusions. Much of what I have said is of a contraversial nature, and in such things as the young man's background I have had to go upon what seemed to be the circumstances, rather than what they really were.
In reaidn gthis paper I would respectfully suggest that the enclosed phostat copy of the manuscript be read first. No difficulty will be found if the pages are read as they are numbered. Since the letter was written on both sides of the vellum the pages appear in a one and four, two and three, order.
I have not tried to deal generally with the larger field of disfranchisement, nor with expatriation, but rather with one man's life as it was influenced by the Revolution. I am not sure that I have succeeded in writing a worthy treatise, but I do jknow that I have enjoyed tracing th elife and fortunes of this unnamed patriot.
Brown, Arthur H. Jr, "The disfranchisement of an American patriot" (1943). Honors Theses. 266.