Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Jacob Koontz, 27 July 1816

To Jacob Koontz

Monticello July 27. 16.


I have recieved your letter of the 14th inst. and the papers inclosed, solliciting me to have justice done you on your claims for military service. from the address of your letter to me at Washington, I have presumed you were under some error as to the proper channel for the prosecution of your claim. rather however than that your papers should run the risks of the mail at such a distance as you are I have undertaken to inclose them to the Secretary at war directly & to pray him to put them into the proper channel to have justice done you. perhaps it would be well for you to get the favor of your delegate in Congress to enquire into this matter when he repairs to the next session. Accept my best wishes for your health and relief.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); with salutation and part of another word rewritten by TJ to correct a polygraph malfunction; at foot of text: “Mr Jacob Koontz Anneville Pensva”; endorsed by TJ.

Jacob Koontz (b. ca. 1778), carpenter, was a native of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the summer of 1812 as a private in the 5th Infantry Regiment, United States Army. Koontz was admitted to a military hospital on 14 Feb. 1814, released on 28 July, ordered two days later to Plattsburgh, New York, and subsequently checked into the hospital at Burlington, Vermont. Suffering from “Dropsy and debility,” he was discharged from military service as unfit for duty on 9 Dec. 1814 (register entitled “Records of Men Enlisted in the U.S. Army Prior to the Peace Establishment, May 17, 1815,” p. 125, record no. 1143 [DNA: RG 94, RUSAE]).

Index Entries

  • Crawford, William Harris; as secretary of war search
  • Koontz, Jacob; identified search
  • Koontz, Jacob; letter to search
  • Koontz, Jacob; military service claims of search