Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Tyler, 30 January 1801

From John Tyler

Green-Way Jany 30th 1801


I beg leave to recommend to your Notice Mr Saml Tyler my Nephew who anxious as I am and as all true Republicans are to witness the change of sentiment in the people by your promotion to the high and responsible office of President has visited the Fœderal City to join in the Genl. Joy. I have not the vanity to suppose you bestow a thought on me while engaged in the great duties of your public office; Yet I can not but believe from the knowledge I have of your philanthropy but that you will condescend to receive this Letter as an indubitable evidence of my great regard for your person and character, and therefore will readily excuse the liberty I have taken in obtruding it on you.

Circumstanced as our Country is, I feel how very painful a Preeminence you are exalted to—The envy and bitter malice of an aristocratic Junto and the inveteracy of an English Faction you will no doubt experience, but you will have the heart of Philosophers and Men of Science, and above all the confidence and respect (short of Idolatry) of the republican World, which I hope will always afford you consolation in the most trying exigencies. That you may long live the ornament of our Country, the Friend to Liberty, and the firm supporter of our great Charter is the ardent wish and prayer of Your most obedient,

Huml: Sevt.

John Tyler

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 12 Feb. and so recorded in SJL.

John Tyler (1747–1813) was born in York County, Virginia, to Anne Contesse and John Tyler, marshal of the vice-admiralty court of Virginia. After attending the College of William and Mary, Tyler read law with Robert Carter Nicholas, became friendly with TJ, and practiced law in Charles City County. In 1776 he married Mary Marot Armistead with whom he had at least seven children, including the future President John Tyler. They established the family home at Greenway near the Charles City County courthouse. Tyler was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1778 and served as its speaker from 1781 until 1785 when Benjamin Harrison defeated him for the position. Elected vice president of the Virginia convention of 1788, Tyler opposed adoption of the federal Constitution. He later became a judge of the General Court of Virginia. He was governor of Virginia from 1808 to 1811, when he was appointed judge of the federal court for the district of Virginia (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Leonard, General Assembly, description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619-January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends 129, 141, 145, 149, 153, 156; “Will and Inventory of Hon. John Tyler,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 1st ser., 17 [1909], 231–5).

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