Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joshua Danforth, 29 July 1803

To Joshua Danforth

Monticello July 29. 03


The Editor of the Pittsfield Sun did for a while [forward me] the newspaper as mentioned in your favor of the 16th inst. which I recieved [here] a day or two after my arrival from Washington. I had [found] [. . .] of the character you give [it]. what has discouraged me from taking distant papers is the difficulty of making paiments at a distance of so small amount as not to be the object of a bill of exchange. I know not who is the representative in Congress from the neighborhood of Pittsfield, but if paiment could be made to him or any [person] in Washington I should gladly be a subscriber to the paper. my rule is to pay for my newspapers about the New years day, all together, [as paiment] at different times, some might escape me. at the ensuing one therefore I should without fail make the paiment to any person indicated to me. it is matter of great satisfaction to me to receive assurances of the approbation you express of my conduct in the state of [. . .] which a [certain] description of editors & [. . .] advantage [. . .] & by which they are endeavoring to undo the freedom of the press [itself]. my fellow citizens can judge of me only by [. . .] I [. . .] only by the indulgence [. . .] and to the different views which honest men [. . .] of the [same] object. Accept my salutations and best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); faint; at foot of text: “Joshua Danforth esq. Pittsfield”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

representative in congress Tompson J. Skinner was a former Massachusetts state senator, congressman, and judge. He represented Berkshire County in the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Congresses (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ).

pay for my newspapers: prior to becoming president, TJ typically renewed a few subscriptions for himself and son-in-law Thomas Mann Randolph at the start of each new year, but he followed this practice less frequently once he was in office (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 , 2:976, 996, 1012, 1034, 1062; Vol. 31:342; Vol. 32:376).

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