Thomas Jefferson Papers

Robert M. Patterson to Thomas Jefferson, 3 December 1814

From Robert M. Patterson

Philadelphia, December 3d., 1814.


I had the honor to receive your letter, of the 24th of last month, in which you decline a reelection as president of the American philosophical Society. This letter was laid before the Society, at their meeting last evening, and excited a general regret among the members: no particular order, however, was taken on it; the Society choosing to adopt, in this particular, the Same course which was pursued, on a Similar occasion, in the year 1809.

It would be improper for me, in the present letter, to express my private feelings, on the Subject of your communication; but it gives me great Satisfaction to be able to offer you my grateful thanks for your kind and flattering wishes, and to assure you of my warm admiration and devoted attachment.

R. M. Patterson.

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 16 Dec. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Vaughan, 1 Mar. 1815, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, Late President of the United States, Monticello”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 5 Dec.

TJ’s letter to Patterson declining reelection as American Philosophical Society president was dated 23 Nov. 1814, not the 24th. At its recent meeting the society had resolved that TJ’s letter be transcribed into the minutes, but “declined taking any particular order on it; thus adopting the Same course which was pursued, on a Similar occasion, in decemr 1808” (APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Minutes, 16 Dec. 1808, 2 Dec. 1814 [MS at PPAmP]).

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; R. M. Patterson as secretary of search
  • American Philosophical Society; TJ resigns from presidency of search
  • Patterson, Robert Maskell; as secretary of American Philosophical Society search
  • Patterson, Robert Maskell; letters from search