Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Dinmore, 11 January 1802

From Richard Dinmore

Washington 11 Janry 1802


When the appointment of a Librarian, was brought before the legislature, I solicited my friends for their nomination and support; Encouraged by their partiality, when it was expected that the president of the Senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives would have the appointment, I still persevered in my application; I am this moment informed, that the Senate has passed the Bill, relative to the Library, vesting the appointment of Librarian, solely in you; permit me then Sir to make this application directly to yourself, to which I am induced, not only by the unequal state of my Health, and the want of employment adequate to the maintenance of my Family, but by the belief that I could fill that Station, reputably to the nomination. Conscious of the difficulty with which an unpatronized indivedual ought to attract your attention, permit me to add, that I brought letters from Europe to Drs. Mitchell and Thornton, and that since I have been in this Country, I have received flattering marks of friendship from Genl. Mason, Govr. Mercer, Mr: Richd. Sprigg &c. I remain Sir

With respect Yrs.

R Dinmore

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 11 Jan. 1802 and so recorded in SJL.

Richard Dinmore (1765–1811) was a native of Norwich, England, who studied medicine and then abandoned the practice to go into mercantile trade and become an author and publisher. He published two political pamphlets in England before emigrating to Washington in 1797, where he operated a school and grocery in Georgetown. In partnership with James Lyon, he was involved in several newspaper and literary publishing ventures including the National Magazine; or, Cabinet of the United States and the Expositor, which started in Alexandria in 1802 and moved to Washington in 1807. TJ was a subscriber to the circulating library he directed in Washington and also to his Select and Fugitive Poetry: A Compilation with Notes Biographical and Historical published in Washington in 1802. TJ received a copy of Dinmore’s A Long Talk, Delivered before the Tammany Society, of Alexandria, District of Columbia, at their First Anniversary Meeting, May 12, 1804. Dinmore was the father of 16 children, most of whom predeceased him. He died at the age of 46 and received an unusually lengthy obituary in the Washington press (Centinel of Liberty, and George-Town and Washington Advertiser, 13 June 1800; National Intelligencer, 8 Oct. 1811; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1043, 1123, 1227; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 2148; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3312; Vol. 34:405, 603; Vol. 35:487–8).

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