With special permission from Thomas Jefferson’s estate, we reproduce here for the first time a wonderful trove of correspondence from the days immediately leading up to the Fall of Monticello.

This group of letters gives us insight into the minds and dealings of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin in the days prior to their harrowing adventure on Jefferson’s mountain top plantation.
However, it also sheds light on others who were part of the tale, namely the bounty hunter Lillian Method and Carmela Kaine, slave mogul and founder of Kaine Capital.

The former two, of course, are luminaries of American history, and so it is always revelatory to gain greater perspective on their exploits.

The latter two, though, give us a peek into the lives of these extraordinary women who might not have known it at the time, but who definitely helped shape the American story.




Fiona Pratt


I’ll likely be gone for the day by the time this note reaches you, I mean to retrieve a music box of mine. When I return on the overmorrow, I’ll be ready to head to Monticello. 

Your most obedient and humble servant,

Fiona Pratt

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Benjamin Franklin


I may have had more than a bit of port wine recently, and am receiving my just due.

Regarding my arrival to Monticello. Of course, you know Fiona will be in my company. Take care in the presence of Fiona Pratt.

Please do ensure that Jupiter is available during our visit.

I’ll look to test my mettle over the chessboard.

B. Franklin

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Lillian Method

We’ve returned with our quarry, though something is amiss.

Jefferson has lived down to my suspicions, begging that we three tarry the night here and promising payment upon the morrow.

There are worse environs in which to pass an evening, but I hope the preening fop doesn’t expect to deduct the cost of our lodging from our fee. 



Carmela Kaine


I understand your position and am amenable to the proposition you put forth in your letter.

I will be heading south within a fortnight to examine your human capital.

With regard,

Carmela Kaine.

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