Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Jefferson, Thomas" AND Period="Madison Presidency"
sorted by: date (ascending)

Thomas Jefferson to William Brown, 22 May 1809

To William Brown

Monticello May 22. 09.

Dear Sir

My new situation & the active occupations to which it has given occasion, must be my apology for this late acknolegement of the reciept of your favor of Oct. 10. informing me you had been so kind as to send me some articles by the schooner Sampson Capt Smith. the answer was deferred long in expectation of her arrival, and that becoming at length desperate, my removal from Washington, & the preparations for it suspended for a considerable time all correspondence which could bear delay. the concern for the loss of the articles shipped is obliterated by the deeper regret for the loss of the unfortunate persons who were in the vessel. but my sense of obligation to you for the intended kindness is the same as if it’s issue had been different from what it was. I embrace this occasion too of returning you my thanks for the many attentions you have been so good as to shew on the several occasions of shipments for me1 which have passed through your hands.  mrs Trist is with us at present & well, as is Miss Harriet also. they talk of a visit to Philadelphia some time hence.

Accept the assurances of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr William Brown”; endorsed by TJ.

William Brown came to New Orleans with the commission that took possession of the Louisiana Purchase. He served first as deputy collector and became collector of New Orleans in 1804 after the death of his brother-in-law Hore Browse Trist. TJ appointed him partly to help Brown support his extended family. An expensive lifestyle, disreputable friends, and his purchase of a plantation led him to financial ruin. Brown eloped with a woman and absconded from his post on 14 Nov. 1809 with approximately $90,000 of federal money. He was arrested in London in August 1810, gave up what remained of his public funds, and returned to the United States (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:473, 474 [19, 20 Nov. 1804]; John M. Gelston to TJ, 1 Sept. 1804 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; TJ to William C. C. Claiborne, 28 Oct. 1804 [DLC]; Joseph Saul to Albert Gallatin, 20 Nov. 1809, ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Finance, 2:395; Washington National Intelligencer, 22 Aug., 12 Oct. 1810; Elizabeth Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache, 24 Oct. [1810] [PPAmP: Catharine Wistar Bache Papers]).

In his favor Brown informed TJ that he had placed his shipment of campeachy chairs and pecans on a vessel bound for Georgetown (Brown to TJ, 10 Oct. 1808 [DLC]). harriet: Harriot Brown.

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Brown, Harriot; at Monticello search
  • Brown, William; absconds with public funds search
  • Brown, William; identified search
  • Brown, William; letters to search
  • campeachy chairs search
  • food; pecans search
  • furniture; campeachy chairs search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Brown, Harriot search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Trist, Elizabeth search
  • New Orleans; goods shipped to, for TJ search
  • nuts; pecan search
  • pecans; TJ orders via New Orleans search
  • Sampson (ship) search
  • Smith, Gilbert H. (captain of Sampson) search
  • Trist, Elizabeth House; visits Monticello search
  • Trist, Hore Browse (1775–1804); death search