To James Madison August 6, 1803
From the original letter at the TPNHA Collecetion at Iona College.
Bordenton on the Delaware Augst 6 1803
I wrote a few days ago to Mr. Breckenridge of Kentucky on the subject of Louisiana, or rather on the manner of bringing it before Congress. I put the letter under cover to Mr. Jefferson who, as I since see by the Papers, is gone to Monticello. After I had sent off the letter a report was circulated that the british Government had notified to our Government, by way of Caution, not to pay any of the purchase money, for that she (britain) intended to take possession of Louisiana. That the british Governt. is insolent and desperate enough to do this I have no doubt, but as this does not prove the fact I will be obliged to you to tell me, so far as you find yourself at liberty to do it, whether it be true or not. I can without making use of the fact make some use of the knowledge. The gentleman who brings you this will return to Bordenton in a few days, and take charge of any thing you may please to write me.
Yours in friendship
Thomas Paine (signature cut out)