Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Fowler to Thomas Jefferson, 30 November 1811

From John Fowler

Lexington. State of Kentucky Novem 30. 1811


The bearer Mr William W Worsley a resident of this Town contemplates in a few days commenceing a journey to Richmond Virginia, and will pass thro’ your neighbourhood. he has expressed a desire of being made acquainted with you; It is with much pleasure I embrace the oppertunity of introduceing an amiable intelligent person to your acquaintance, as an Editor of a paper (the reporter) he is not equalled in this State, and will rank with the first any where, He no doubt will be gratified by a personal conversation with you, and I flatter myself you will be pleased by the oppertunity of an Acquaintance with him. There is not a more stanch republican any where.

I have the honour to be respectfully

Yr. Mo. Ob servant

John Fowler

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Jan. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

John Fowler (1756–1840) was a native of Chesterfield County who was wounded and captured during service as a lieutenant in that county’s militia during the Revolutionary War. He moved his family to what is now Kentucky at the conclusion of hostilities and eventually settled in Lexington. Fowler represented Fayette County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1786–88, and at the 1788 state ratification convention, where he opposed the new United States Constitution. He returned to the General Assembly as a delegate from Woodford County in 1791. A strong advocate of Kentucky statehood, Fowler served his adopted state as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, 1797–1807. Having amassed large landholdings, his economic interests also included farming, wagoning, racetracks, and pleasure gardens. Fowler sat on Lexington’s town council, was its postmaster, 1814–22, and served as a trustee and treasurer of Transylvania University (Ila Earle Fowler, Captain John Fowler of Virginia and Kentucky [1942]; The Pension Roll of 1835 [1835; indexed ed., 1992], 3:275; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 160, 164, 172, 185; Merrill Jensen, John P. Kaminski, and others, eds., The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution [1976– ], 9:907; Clay, Papers description begins James F. Hopkins and others, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, 1959–1992, 11 vols. description ends ; Lexington Kentucky Gazette, 27 Aug. 1840).

William W. worsley (ca. 1782–1852) edited the Norfolk Commercial Register, 1802–03, the Richmond Examiner, 1804, and (with Thomas Ritchie) the Richmond Enquirer, 1804–05, before relocating to Lexington, Kentucky. In 1808 he established the Lexington Reporter and managed it, alone or with a partner, for eleven years. Worsley later moved to Louisville, where he operated a bookstore and owned another journal, the Focus of Politics, Commerce, and Literature, 1826–32. He was a longtime correspondent and political supporter of Henry Clay (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:166, 2:1124, 1138–9, 1507; Clay, Papers description begins James F. Hopkins and others, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, 1959–1992, 11 vols. description ends , esp. 5:861–2, 10:503–5; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ky., Louisville, 1850; gravestone in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville).

Index Entries

  • Fowler, John; identified search
  • Fowler, John; introduces W. W. Worsley search
  • Fowler, John; letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Kentucky; newspapers search
  • newspapers; Lexington, Ky.,Reporter search
  • Reporter (Lexington, Ky., newspaper) search
  • Worsley, William W.; identified search
  • Worsley, William W.; letter of introduction for, from J. Fowler search