Thomas Jefferson Papers

Levett Harris to Thomas Jefferson, 24 July 1817

From Levett Harris

Philadelphia 24. July 1817.


After a residence in Russia of fourteen Years, I have returned to the United States.   Permit me to consecrate the first moments of my arrival in my native City, to the paying of my respects to my great patron and protector.   Tis to you Sir, that I owe the occasion of my advancement to fortune, and I hope to consideration. At the age of twenty four years, You distinguished me by the appointment of Consul Gl. to Russia. Through the indulgent protection of my Government, I was afterwards advanced to the rank of minister of third order, and I flatter myself that my conduct in every service confided to me (which in some instances has not been unimportant) has imparted no less Satisfaction to yourself and your Successor, than my long residence in a Country, now so intimately connected with my own, will have proved mutually advantageous.

The Emperor Alexander at an audience of leave, which he accorded me a few days before I left his capital, took particular occasion to speak of Mr. Jefferson, and to request me to renew to you Sir, the assurances of the great respect with which your high character had inspired him. The like sentiments were testified by the Empress Mother at the audience of leave which was afterwards assigned me by Her Imperial Majesty.

I reserve myself to entertain You more at large on what passed on these interesting Occasions, as I promise myself the honor, in the course of the ensuing Autumn, of paying a visit to monticello.

A few days previous to my leaving St Petersburg, one of your literary friends there, Professor Adelung, requested me to take charge of the accompanying volume which treats of a Subject in which I know you have taken a deep interest.

I am with profound respect and Veneration,

Sir, Your most obedient humle servant

Levett Harris

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Aug. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (Mrs. T. Wilber Chelf, Mrs. Virginius Dabney, and Mrs. Alexander W. Parker, Richmond, 1944; photocopy in ViU: TJP); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Patrick Gibson, 30 Oct. 1817, on verso; addressed: “The Honorable Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello accompanied with a large packet”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 25 July.

The accompanying volume was probably Friedrich Adelung, Catherinens der Grossen Verdienste um die Vergleichende Sprachenkunde (Saint Petersburg, 1815).

Index Entries

  • Adelung, Friedrich; Catherinens der Grossen Verdienste um die Vergleichende Sprachenkunde search
  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; TJ’s relationship with search
  • Catherine II (“the Great”), empress of Russia; as linguist search
  • Catherinens der Grossen Verdienste um die Vergleichende Sprachenkunde (F. Adelung) search
  • Feodorovna, Maria, empress consort of Russia; on TJ search
  • Harris, Levett; as consul at Saint Petersburg search
  • Harris, Levett; letters from search
  • Harris, Levett; returns to U.S. search
  • Harris, Levett; sends book to TJ search
  • Harris, Levett; visits Monticello search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Harris, Levett search