From Thomas L. Dillehay
Near Hagerstown; Washington County, Md. Decr 26. 1812—
Be pleased not take umbridge at the following lines as they come from one you never saw, nor perhaps ever heard of.—Had I the least Idea that these lines would in any shape affront you, Be it far from me to have written them.—
On the 14th inst. I had two Sons born which were yesterday noon christened and named Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.—My reason why I called my two sons after these eminent persons, was because I fancied the names, &C. &C.—
Perhaps you may think it strange I wrote to you on such a Topic, but be assured sir, I meant no offence, so hoping you may enjoy a long and happy life I take the freedom to sign myself your Very poor, but is, and always was Dr Sir, your very sincere friend, whose Character is unblemished &C.
Thomas L. Dillehay
PS. Should deem it a great honor to hear of your good health.
RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 15 Jan. 1813 and so recorded in SJL.
Dillehay also sent a very similar letter to James Madison on this date, postmarked Hagerstown, 10 Jan. 1813 (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols. Congress. Ser., 17 vols. Pres. Ser., 6 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 5:524).