Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Patrick Magruder, 30 May 1810

To Patrick Magruder

Monticello May 30. 10.


Having occasion to turn to the volume of the Journals of the H. of R. of the US. which should contain my message to them of Mar. 7. 1808. on the batture of N. Orleans & their proceedings on it, I find that precisely that single volume is wanting in my collection. I presume it was not furnished me at the time, or it would now certainly be found with the rest of the set. being in a part of the country where no such thing is to be obtained, I am obliged to ask the favor of you to furnish me with a copy of that volume, being wanting without delay to assist in furnishing materials in the defence of the action brought against me by E. Livingston. Accept the assurances of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); salutation faint; at foot of text: “Mr Patrick Magruder”; endorsed by TJ.

Patrick Magruder (ca. 1768–1819), a native of Montgomery County, Maryland, represented his state in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican, 1805–07, and held the posts of clerk of the House of Representatives and librarian of Congress, 1807–15. He was recuperating from illness elsewhere when the British seized Washington in August 1814 and burned the Capitol, the congressional library, and Magruder’s records of his stewardship as clerk. The loss of the last prompted an investigation into his management of the House’s contingent fund that led to his resignation from both positions (Martin K. Gordon, “Patrick Magruder Citizen, Congressman, Librarian of Congress,” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 32 [1975]: 154–71; Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, 1989 description ends ; TJ to Magruder, 6 Nov. 1807 [DLC]).

TJ’s message was read to both houses of Congress (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 4:243–4, and JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 6:208–9 [both 7 Mar. 1808]).

Index Entries

  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; and Congress search
  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; TJ requests documents search
  • Congress, U.S.; and batture controversy search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; journals of search
  • Magruder, Patrick; identified search
  • Magruder, Patrick; letters to search
  • Magruder, Patrick; TJ seeks batture documents from search