From Caspar Wistar
Philada Feby 24–1817—
Permit me to present to you the Bearer Dr Stevenson, a very interesting young gentleman of New York, who is about to embark for Europe but makes a previous visit to the Southward. He has lately returned from Lake Superior & can give you a good account of what he has seen on his Journey, & also of the present state of public sentiment in New York. I hope to receive by his return an agreeable account of the continuance of your health & happiness, & with the warmest wishes for the welfare of your numerous family, am
RC (DLC); dateline adjacent to signature; at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Apr. 1817 and so recorded in SJL, which has the additional notation: “Dr Stevenson.”
John B. Stevenson (1795–1863), physician, graduated from Columbia College (later Columbia University) in 1811, although he was denied his A.B. diploma for years in a dispute over his refusal to accept faculty-ordered revisions to his commencement address. He received a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (later part of Columbia University) in 1816. Stevenson served as a militia officer during the War of 1812. After traveling in Europe, he practiced medicine in New York City and was a founding member of the New York Academy of Sciences under its original name of the Lyceum of Natural History (William M. Macbean, Biographical Register of Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York [1922–25], 2:132–4; New York Columbian, 20 Aug. 1811, 6 June 1812; Milton Halsey Thomas, Columbia University Officers and Alumni 1754–1857 , 128, 195; Stevenson to John W. Francis, Paris, 8 Nov. 1818 [NN: Francis Papers]; Herman Le Roy Fairchild, A History of the New York Academy of Sciences formerly the Lyceum of Natural History , 21; New York Herald, 26 Aug. 1863).