From Willie Blount
Knoxville November 14th. 1801
Being disengaged this evening from such pursuits as generally engage my attention, and it occuring to me that I might not be considered an intruder, since I am one of those who admire your doings and quite willing and desirous that you should continue to preside as President of the United States so long as you may feel disposed to act in that way, and feeling desirous you should know merely for my own gratification that there does exist within the limits of the United States a man of my name, have written you this letter to which I in language of the purest sincerity subscribe it, as
Your unfeigned and unalterable friend
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Dec. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Nathaniel Macon to TJ, 18 Dec.
Willie Blount (1768?–1835), a North Carolina lawyer educated at Columbia College and the College of New Jersey, moved to Knoxville in the 1790s and served as secretary to his half-brother William Blount (d. 1800), who was governor of the Southwest Territory. Willie Blount served one term in the state House of Representatives and became governor of Tennessee in 1809, holding that office for three consecutive terms. Blount wrote two other letters, not found, to TJ as president on 11 Jan. and 1 Feb. 1809 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).