Thomas Jefferson Papers

Absalom Townsend to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 28] August 1817

From Absalom Townsend

Albany, [ca. 28] August, 1817.


You will perceive, by the notice in the last Numbers of the American Magazine, edited by Mr. Spafford, that the Subscription to that work, has been duly assigned to me.—I must therefore earnestly request you to send Three Dollars, the amount of your subscription, to my Office, No. 84, State-street, Albany, by Mail or otherwise, without delay.

Attorney at Law.

RC (MHi); printed circular; partially dated; addressed: “His Exy Thomas Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Albany, 28 Aug.; endorsed by TJ as a letter of Aug. 1817 received 21 Sept. 1817 and so recorded in SJL.

Absalom Townsend (1786–1861), attorney, was born in Orange County, New York, and moved with his family to Albany in about 1795. He graduated from Williams College in 1805 and subsequently studied law in New York City. Townsend qualified at the bar of the New York Supreme Court in 1808 and afterwards practiced law in Albany, serving also as a master in chancery. Between 1811 and 1818 he was an officer in the New York militia, eventually becoming a brigade judge advocate. Townsend was also a leader in the Albany Sunday School Society. The 1860 census valued his real-estate holdings at $30,000 and his personal property at $50,000 (Calvin Durfee, Williams Biographical Annals [1871], 270; New-York Commercial Advertiser, 26 Nov. 1808; Joseph Fry, comp., The Albany Directory [Albany, 1813], 48; Fry, The Albany Directory, for the year 1814 [Albany, 1814], 8, 57; Anniversary Report of the Board of Managers of the Albany Bible Society [Albany, 1818], 27, 32; Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783–1821 [1901–02], 2:1242, 1281, 1410, 1414, 3:1963; Joel Munsell, The Annals of Albany [1850–59], 7:179–80; DNA: RG 29, CS, Albany, 1860; Albany Evening Journal, 5 Oct. 1861).

Horatio G. Spafford announced that his accounts had been assigned to Townsend in the American Magazine, a monthly miscellany 1 (1816): 441–2.

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  • American Magazine; edited by H. G. Spafford search
  • American Magazine; TJ subscribes to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; subscriptions search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; as editor ofAmerican Magazine search
  • subscriptions, for publications; journals search
  • Townsend, Absalom; andAmerican Magazine search
  • Townsend, Absalom; identified search
  • Townsend, Absalom; letter from search