Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Moultrie, 1 November 1802

From William Moultrie

New York Novemr. 1st. 1802


I have the honor to address you by the hands of Mr Berry, and my grandson William A. Moultrie who are travelling to South Carolina; I have directed them to call upon you, and to present to you, my most respectfull compliments: I have long wished for the opportunity of paying my respects to you in person; and I hope at the close of this month to have that honor; particular business will detain me here ‘till then; in the mean.

I have the honor to be with the greatest regard & the highest respect Your most Obt. & very humble Servant

Willm: Moultrie

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Nov. and so recorded in SJL with notation “by Moultrie & Berry.”

William Moultrie (1730–1805) was one of South Carolina’s most distinguished heroes of the American Revolution, most notable for orchestrating the successful defense of Charleston in 1776. His public service to the state also included two terms as governor and multiple terms in the legislature. As governor in 1793, Moultrie enthusiastically welcomed the arrival of French minister Edmond Charles Genet at Charleston. Retiring from public life in 1794, Moultrie concentrated on his sizable planting endeavors. TJ appointed him a commissioner of bankruptcy for South Carolina in June 1802 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788–1800 [New York, 1993], 335–6; Vol. 37:513n).

Moultrie’s PARTICULAR BUSINESS probably related to the publication of his wartime reminiscences, Memoirs of the American Revolution, which was printed in New York in 1802 by David Longworth. TJ received a special presentation copy of the work, which included an inlaid calf label written in gilt: “Thomas Jefferson/President of the U.S./from the Author” (New York Morning Chronicle, 28 Oct. 1802; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 494).

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