Thomas Jefferson Papers

Horatio Turpin to Thomas Jefferson, 2 July 1811

From Horatio Turpin

Palmyra 2 July 1811.

Dear Sir

This will be handed you by Mr Wm Harris the Grandson of your Old Acquaintance Colo John Harris of the Mankin town who wishes to go on board of the Navy and if you could by a letter to the President be instrumental in Obtaining a birth for him he would be thankful to you to do so, he is a young Gentleman of good morals addicted to none of the prevalent vices & I think I can with Safety pledge myself for his intrepidity bravery and that he will never disgrace the American flag by Striking to inferior force whenever it may be his lot to have the command of a vessel

As Our present prospects with the belligerent powers will Justify an expectation of a Rupture young Men of his Undaunted courage will probably be Acceptable to his Country

As Offices to which danger is attach’d perhaps are not so frequently apply,d for, the difficulty of obtaining a Suitable birth would not be So great as those where more ease and safety and better pay are expected, Should you think this recommendation would Justify you for an Application in his favour you would confer an Obligation on me

Mrs Turpin Join me in presenting our best wishes to yourself, and also Mrs Randolph and family who we expect are with you and am respectfully thy friend

Horatio Turpin.

PS. Wms Father Jordan Harris and his Brother John Harris were both Revolutionary officers in Our last war


RC (MHi); dateline above postscript; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Monticello Mr Harris”; with unrelated calculation by TJ on address cover; endorsed by TJ as received 5 July 1811 from “Palmyra. Powhatan” and so recorded in SJL.

mankin town: Manakin Town, in Cumberland County (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 1:298n).

Index Entries

  • Harris, John (1758–1815); family of search
  • Harris, John (d.1800); Revolutionary War officer search
  • Harris, Jordan; Revolutionary War officer search
  • Harris, William Jordan; letter of introduction for, from H. Turpin search
  • Harris, William Jordan; seeks naval commission search
  • Harris, William Jordan; visits Monticello search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Harris, William J. search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings to search
  • Turpin, Horatio; letters from search
  • Turpin, Horatio; seeks appointment for W. J. Harris search
  • Turpin, Mary Ann Bancroft (Horatio Turpin’s wife) search