Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Bradford, 26 April 1777

To William Bradford

Albemarle in Virginia, April 26th. 1777.


I am constrained by the subscribers to your paper in this neighborhood to trouble you with information of the uncertainty with which they seem likely to come. The first mail came about ten days ago open and loose, and containing not more than one paper for any subscriber, and none for several. The papers which came were of three several dates. The last mail, which would have been the second, brought not a single paper. Where the failure happens, we know not; but mean to inquire. In order to do this, it will be essential that you observe our former direction in making up and sealing the mail, as we suppose that it is for want of this circumstance the papers are taken out either by the riders for sale, or by others.

Your punctual attention to this will oblige your customers here as well as, sir, your humble servant,

Th: Jefferson

MS not found; reprinted from John W. Wallace, An Old Philadelphian, Colonel William Bradford, The Patriot Printer of 1776: Sketches of his Life (Philadelphia, 1884), 327; at foot of text: “Mr. William Bradford.”

William Bradford (1722–91), grandson of the famous printer of the same name in the Middle Colonies and nephew of Andrew Bradford, who founded the first newspaper in Pennsylvania, was a printer and Revolutionary soldier whose paper, The Pennsylvania Journal; and the Weekly Advertiser, was one of Philadelphia’s leading newspapers for half a century (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).

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