Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Taylor, 9 March 1801

From George Taylor

Alexandria March 9th 1801


The Citizens of Alexandria anxious for an opportunity of testifying collectively their high respect, for the chief Magistrate of the United States, have with an unanimous voice at a late meeting held for the purpose; expressed their desire that you will partake of a public Dinner, at as early a day as will be most convenient to yourself;—Less favoured than their brethren of the Eastern side of the District, as being more remote from the seat of Government, they Persuade themselves you will not suffer any unimportant considerations to oppose this real expression of the general sentiment

It is Sir with peculiar satisfaction and a perfect acquiscence on the wish of my fellow Citizens that I have the honour to make you this communication;—and I beg you to be assured of the confidence and regard with

Which I am Sir Your Most Obt. Hul. Svt.

George Taylor Mayor

RC (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. President of the US”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.


George Taylor (ca. 1758–1851) was an active member of the Alexandria mercantile community, supporting a 1792 effort to establish a bank in the town and serving as a director of the Marine Insurance Company of Alexandria. He was appointed a justice of the peace for Alexandria County by John Adams on 2 Mch. 1801. Despite Taylor’s “midnight appointment,” TJ retained him in the post (Alexandria Gazette, 27 June 1851; WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 2d ser., 3 [1923], 206–8; Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1801; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States… to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:388, 404; Appendix I, List 4).

The public dinner for TJ in Alexandria was held on 14 Mch. at Gadsby’s Hotel. The event, which the Alexandria Times proclaimed to be the largest ever given in the city, was attended by TJ, the vice president, Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, Attorney General Levi Lincoln, and General James Wilkinson. TJ and his suite, escorted by two troops of cavalry, arrived around 2:00, then held a “numerous levee” before dining. When toasts were made, TJ offered “Prosperity to the town of Alexandria” (Alexandria Times, 16 Mch. 1801; Alexandria Advertiser and Commercial Intelligencer, 16 Mch. 1801).

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