Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Harrison Smith, 21 December 1800

To Samuel Harrison Smith

Dec. 21. 1800.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to mr Smith, and incloses the little book which he wishes to have printed, without subjecting it to any copy-right. he will ask of mr Smith either to print him 100. copies at his own expence, or for mr Smith to print it on his own account & let Th: J. have 75. copies at the selling price. the sooner it is begun, the better.

RC (DLC: J. Henley Smith Papers); addressed: “Mr. Smith”; endorsed by Smith. Not recorded in SJL. Enclosure: MS (now missing) of A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States (Washington, D.C., 1801).

In Forty Years of Washington Society, Margaret Bayard Smith recalled her impressions of TJ as he brought the manuscript of the parliamentary manual to her husband for printing. It was her first meeting with the Republican leader. She remembered: “I knew not who he was, but the interest with which he listened to my artless details, induced the idea he was some intimate acquaintance or friend of Mr. Smith’s and put me perfectly at my ease; in truth so kind and conciliating were his looks and manners that I forgot he was not a friend of my own, until on the opening of the door, Mr. Smith entered and introduced the stranger to me as Mr. Jefferson.” Margaret Smith noted that the manuscript was “in his own neat, plain, but elegant hand writing” and was “still preserved by Mr. Smith and valued as a precious relique” (Margaret Bayard Smith, The First Forty Tears of Washington Society, ed. Gaillard Hunt [New York, 1906], 5–8).

A letter from Smith to TJ, of 31 Oct. 1800, recorded in SJL as received 20 Nov., has not been found.

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