Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Sullivan, 11 January 1802

From James Sullivan

Boston 11th. January 1802


The very great pleasure which I should enjoy, in paying my respects, in person, to Mr. Jefferson, as President of the United States, it is not probable that I shall have very soon, unless you shall give us the honor of a visit to the northward. My son John Langdon Sullivan, who is in the mercantile line, is making a tour to the seat of government; I have requested some of my friends there, to shew him the way, where he can, for himself, pay his duty to the first national magistrate of his country. And through him, as a proxy peculiarly dear to me, I wish you to receive the homage and best wishes of

Your very humble Servant

Ja Sullivan

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Feb. and so recorded in SJL.

Boston merchant John Langdon Sullivan became a noted canal engineer and inventor, receiving a patent for a steam towboat in 1814 (James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 6 vols. [New York, 1887–9], 5:741–2; List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1790, to December 31, 1836, Washington, D.C., 1872 description ends , 137).

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