Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Chambers to Thomas Jefferson, 16 September 1811

From John Chambers

New york, 16th sepr 1811


When my friend Mr D. B. Warden was last here, he communicated to me a Letter of yours on the subject of the Fiorin Grass mentioned in the Belfast Ag. Society’s papers, & requested me to endeavour to procure some of it for you

I have very great pleasure in now informing you, that in consequence of having written to a Botanical friend in Belfast, I have just received a small parcel in excellent preservation, & have put it into the care of Mr Weightman, Bookseller, of Washington City who is now on his Return, & expects to be in that City in about a Week, & will then, search for the safest conveyance of it to you:—but it is possible you may be able to point out one to him, upon which you may have more perfect reliance. The parcel is too large to convey by Post, & I was unwilling to divide & put it into so small a compass, from a fear of injury

This Grass has been chosen by a Gentleman of much Botanical knowledge, who has put it up in the manner directed by you in your Letter to Mr Warden; & I hope it will reach you in perfect safety, & fully answer the expectations you entertain of it

Permit me to express the satisfaction I feel, in having an opportunity of paying you even this small mark of Attention, & believe me, sir, with great respect, your obedient servt

J: Chambers

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Ths Jefferson, Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Sept. 1811 and so recorded in SJL.

John Chambers (1754–1837), a printer and bookseller in Dublin and a member of the United Irishmen, was incarcerated in Scotland for three years following a failed 1798 Irish rebellion against English rule. He was released in 1802 and deported to Germany, moved to France the same year, and immigrated to the United States in 1805. Chambers operated a stationer’s shop in New York City by 1807, retired in about 1819, and devoted himself to philanthropic pursuits thereafter (Mary Pollard, A Dictionary of Members of the Dublin Book Trade, 1550–1800 [2000], 99–101; Pollard, “John Chambers, Printer and United Irishman,” Irish Book 3 [1964]: 1–22; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory. New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1807], 140; [1819], 104; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 13 Feb. 1837).

TJ wrote David Bailie Warden about fiorin grass on 12 Jan. 1811.

Index Entries

  • agriculture; and Belfast Literary Society search
  • Belfast Literary Society search
  • botany; and Belfast Literary Society search
  • Chambers, John; and fiorin grass search
  • Chambers, John; identified search
  • Chambers, John; letters from search
  • fiorin grass; sent to TJ search
  • grass; fiorin search
  • Ireland; Belfast Literary Society search
  • Warden, David Bailie; and fiorin grass search
  • Weightman, Roger Chew; and fiorin grass search