Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Humpton, 20 November 1802

From Richard Humpton

Philadelphia 20th. Novr 1802


The bearer of this is Mr. Robert Martin a friend of mine who served as an Officer in the American Revolution in a Regiment that I had the honor to Command in the Pennsylvania Line to the conclusion of the Peace with Great Britain—

Some time after the Peace his family connections required his presence in Europe and when in Paris did himself the honor to wait upon you—also was the bearer of some despatches (from You) to Mr John Adams then Ambassador at the Court of London—

Mr. Robt. Martin has resided since that time several years in the West Indies but from the present dangerous situation there has return’d to America with a view of remaining—

Any thing Sir that you can serve an old Soldier and I can say a good Officer will confer an Obligation upon your

most Obedt. &c. &c. &c.

Richd Humpton

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson President of the United States America”; endorsed by TJ as received from Richard Hampton on 23 Nov. and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “by mr Martin.”

Richard Humpton (1733–1804) was born in Yorkshire, England. He served as a captain in the British army during the Seven Years’ War, after which he settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Siding with the Americans during the Revolution, he became colonel of the 11th Pennsylvania regiment of the Continental Army. He subsequently commanded the 10th and 6th Pennsylvania regiments and in 1781 was named superintendent of recruiting for the state’s militias. After the war he remained active in military affairs, becoming major general of the third division of the Pennsylvania militia and in 1800 adjutant general for the state (Aurora, 22 Dec. 1804; W. A. Newman Dorland, “The Second Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry,” PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877- description ends , 49 [1925], 93n; Gregory Fremont-Barnes and Richard Alan Ryerson, eds., The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History, 5 vols. [Santa Barbara, Calif., 2006], 2:625–6).

robert martin served under Humpton as an ensign in the 10th Pennsylvania and mustered out of the Continental Army as a lieutenant in 1783. He may have been the same individual who solicited an office from George Washington at the beginning of Washington’s presidency (Heitman, Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1793, new ed., Washington, D.C., 1914 description ends , 382; Washington, Papers description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, Edward C. Lengel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, Charlottesville, 1983- , 56 vols. Confed. Ser., 1992-97, 6 vols. Pres. Ser., 1987- , 16 vols. Ret. Ser., 1998-99, 4 vols. Rev. War Ser., 1985- , 20 vols. description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:127).

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