Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Long to Thomas Jefferson, 24 August 1809

From James Long

Philadelphia August the 24th 1809


I Take the Liberty of Writing to you if it is posable in your Power to Befriend me I Hope you Will as I am in a Disalut setiation at present I Was Born in the North of Ireland in the year 1770 My Father Having a larg farem after I Got My scooling I was Set to Hard Work I Continued at that to about twenty six years of age then the uniting Buisness Began I was apointed a Capten of a Compney of the united men in 1798 I was Taken into Costady and three More tryed By a Cort Marchel and Centsed to Death But1 by the Cleamency of the Commanding offecer We Wear sent a Bout 60 Miles to Head quarters and Deteaned six Weeks then got off to america I stead onely a quarter of a year Hear to I started Back thinkeng to Get it setled But it Was out of My power I Had to Conceal My self four Months to I Got off again I Contined Hear about six years then Got Liberty to Go Back and settle What Little was acoming to Me I Got them settled and Left Ireland the tenth of May Was a year With about three Hundred Guines With Me I thought as I was Bred to no kind of Buisness I would Join farming and started to settel on the ohio River I tryed in Different pleasis to settel But Could not Content My self I went Rown By Neworlans and Landed Hear the 26th of February Last Holland Gin Was so High that I thought I woud Make Good Gin out of Wry Whiskey so I Bought a still and I Had about fifteen Gallans off When the Candle Catched the steem of the Licker aflshed Round Me Liek Gun pouder and set my Clothes a Fire and Borned My Legs and armes the skin of My Hands is so tender that I Cant Doe aney Work as yet I am very oneasy How I will Come thrugh the World the Little Money I have It me soon Go from Me and God He onely knows What I me Do If you Would Get Me a small Commison in the standing Armey I never Would forget your kindness to Me

Your Cincer friend

James Long

Sir pleas to send Me a few lines and Direct Shiping It By six—

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 27 Aug. 1809 and so recorded (misdated 26 Aug. 1809) in SJL.

The 1798 British defeat of an uprising led by the Society of the united Irishmen, secretly founded in Belfast in 1791 to promote Irish independence, inspired a flood of Irish immigration to the United States (David A. Wilson, United Irishmen, United States: Immigrant Radicals in the Early Republic [1998], 2).

1Manuscript: “But But.”

Index Entries

  • alcohol; gin distilling search
  • alcohol; whiskey search
  • gin distilling search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Long, James; letters from search
  • Long, James; seeks TJ’s assistance search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Society of United Irishmen search
  • whiskey; accidents involving manufacture of search