Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Williamson to Thomas Jefferson, 10 October 1809

From George Williamson

Baltimore Oct 10th 1809


No ordinary occasion should induce me to intrude on your leisure hours. you will perceive that the work, the prospectus of which I send you, has more than ordinary claims on the literati of this Country. I regreat that I have not an acquaintance in your State whom I can interest, and through whom this might have been presented to you. had my honorable friend Doctor Mitchill still continued in the U.S. I Should not have been under the necessity of thus intruding on you. however, I could hardly with justice to myself, and my country,1 withhold a prospectus, of this nature, from one who is universally known to be the friend and patronizer of every laudable persuit; and of every literary work, which promisses, as this does, to be extensively usefull.

With respect I am &c

G Williamson

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 30 Oct. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

George Williamson, a physician residing at 61 Pratt Street, Baltimore, began his professional studies in Richmond under James Currie and completed them in Philadelphia, where he met TJ in 1792 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 24:582; William Fry, The Baltimore Directory for 1810 [Baltimore, 1810], 190).

The enclosed prospectus, not found, may have been an early promotion for Williamson’s translation of the second edition of Étienne Tourtelle’s Elemens d’hygiène (Paris, 1802), which Williamson eventually published as The Principles of Health: Elements of hygiene, or, A treatise on the influence of physical and moral causes on man, and on the means of preserving health (Baltimore, 1819; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library [1829] description ends , 5 [no. 185]). See also Williamson to TJ, 5 July 1819, and TJ to Williamson, 11 July 1819. TJ knew Samuel Latham mitchill, a prominent New York City physician and scientist then touring Canada, from his service in Congress during TJ’s presidency and their shared intellectual interests (Some of the Memorable Events and Occurrences in the Life of Samuel L. Mitchill of New-York from the year 1786–1828 [ca. 1828], 3).

1Manuscript: “county.”

Index Entries

  • Elemens d’hygiène (Tourtelle) search
  • Mitchill, Samuel Latham; tours Canada search
  • subscriptions, for publications; medical search
  • The Principles of Health: Elements of hygiene (Williamson) search
  • Tourtelle, Étienne; Elemens d’hygiène search
  • Williamson, George; identified search
  • Williamson, George; letters from search
  • Williamson, George; sends prospectus to TJ search
  • Williamson, George; The Principles of Health: Elements of hygiene search