. Somehow it became known that Thomas Jefferson shortly before his death had written
W. B. Giles not one but two letters concerning JQA. One, supposed to be held confidential,
Giles had published in 1827 in order to injure JQA’s presidential chances (see entry
for 14 Sept. 1827
, and note
, above). At the request of Archibald Stuart, a stanch Adams supporter, Thomas J.
Randolph, Jefferson’s grandson, had recently produced a copy of the other letter,
which Giles had withheld because it praised JQA. Dated 25 December 1825, it related
in a somewhat jumbled fashion the aged President’s recollection that JQA in 1808 had
declared that the Massachusetts Federalists were “in negotiation with agents of the
British government” and that repeal of the embargo was “absolutely necessary” in order
to remove “temptations . . . such as might debauch many from their fidelity to the
Union” (HA, New-England Federalism
, p. 10–13).