Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Whitehead to Thomas Jefferson, 11 August 1817

From David Whitehead

City of New York. August 11th 1817.

Reverand Father

the 4th Instant i was at my Brothers 20 Miles From this City above Springfield New Jersey & he informed me that Bishop Hobert, in the time of this Last war he went twise to Canida and From the top of his hous thare Can be Segnal maid, to be Seen to Sandy Hook. that When Said B. Came Back he Always Sent a Black man off, On my Return home I had not been home 3 hours my Yongest Son of 10 years Old Brought me this Pamplelit. I Read the Contents. It is the Only one I have Seen it Plainly Discoverd what my Br told me the 4th. I have Lived In this ward about 20 years, Sinc then I have tryed to Discover the Revinew the Church of Engling Draws yearly of this Ward, which Said Church Seized in Time of the Old Revilution And by Corruption and Bribery, Still Hold Say 20001 Lotts on Lease Some at $160 per year, Some they have Sold to Upwards of $5000 Dollars, & by the Same Chanul of Corruption & Bribery they Same British Emiseries Doth Detain from My Brother and me to the vallue of $1000. Dollars.—

Sir 16 years ago I Derected N1 Federil Spye to you I Shold be Glad of a Line from you to know you had Receved it I Expect you In Decline of Life, but I hope kind Heavin Hath Prolonged your Sences & give you Wisdom to,2 Aid and assist in this [verri] grait and Important Moment, to the Welfair of our Independanc And to the Glory of the Grait Omnipotant To Hurl Down, Those Monsters that is Feasting on the Spoil of the widow & the Fatherless at Sallerye of $6000 Dollars Per years I Expect you was one well Acquainted with my Grate Unkel A Clark

David Whitehead
19t. F I. — — d.
Grenwich Street No 343

RC (MHi); one word illegible; dateline adjacent to signature; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Montecilla Virginna”; franked; postmarked New York, 12 Aug.; endorsed by TJ as received 29 Aug. 1817 and so recorded in SJL, which has the additional notation (brackets in original) “[insane].”

David Whitehead (b. 1761) was a native of Essex County, New Jersey. He volunteered as a private in the New Jersey militia in 1777 and served for a total of about fourteen months spread over a number of years. Whitehead lived in Vermont for several months in both 1786 and 1791, working as a planter and surveyor. He subsequently moved to New York City, where he was variously occupied from at least 1799 to 1829 as a currier, tanner, grocer, and gardener. By 1832 Whitehead was living in Woodbridge, New Jersey (Whitehead diary [photocopied excerpts in VtHi]; DNA: RG 15, SRRWPBLW; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1799]: 388; [1803]: 310; [1809]: 380; [1820]: 472; [1821]: 467; [1822]: 477; [1829]: 605; New York Daily Advertiser, 16 Nov. 1802; New-York Evening Post, 27 May 1819; Whitehead, An Oration, Delivered at Potter’s Field; on the Fourth of July, 1826 … Also, An Oration Delivered on the Fourth of July, 1827 in the Park, in the City [1827]).

bishop hobert: John Henry Hobart, third Episcopal bishop of New York. The enclosed pamphlet (pamplelit) has not been found. The numbers 56–2–26 refer to the years, months, and days since Whitehead’s birth on 16 May 1761.

1Reworked from “200.”

2Page one ends here with “over” at foot of text.

Index Entries

  • Clark, Abraham; family of search
  • Federal Spy (Springfield, Mass. newspaper) search
  • health; TJ describes correspondents as insane search
  • Hobart, John Henry; as bishop of N.Y. search
  • newspapers; Springfield, Mass.,Federal Spy search
  • Whitehead, David; identified search
  • Whitehead, David; letter from search
  • Whitehead, David; on Episcopal Church search