Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Leiper to Thomas Jefferson, 9 December 1813

From Thomas Leiper

Philada Decr 9th 1813—

My Dear Sir

Enclosed in my opinion is a very extraordinary letter which appeared in Poulson’s Paper of the 6th—The History of the letter from the information I have received The contents was wrote by you to Doctor Logan and by him handed to Poulson’s Press—I trust it is a forgery—I have but one opinion and I am not singular in my opinion (for Twenty years) that every Battle obtained by the French was a Battle in favor of the Americans and I will add in favor of the Revelation of God which appears clear to me from the 7 Chapter1 of Daniel and the 17 Chapter2 of the Revelation of Saint John—How could this fisherman I would ask get his information that their would be Ten Kings or Kingdoms3 formed out of the Western Empire which absolutly came to pass and that they should remain a certain period and should be cut off which at this day4 comming to pass at the very time too the authors on the subject had pointed out—From your Answer to me on your receipt of Towers illustration of Prophecy it appeared to me the Book was in no great estimation with you—I sent the Book to Mr Madison he did not Vouchsafe to acknowledge the receipt5 but at the same time I sent the Book to Judge Duvall and received for answer he had read the Book with great pleasure and satisfaction and would read it again and again Do read the Book for certain I am after you have read it you would not be at a Loss to know how the thing would wind up—Since I have read Towers I have seen Thomas Scott’s Bible he was Rector of Aston Bucks he mentions he was Twenty years in finishing his notes—on6 the 7 Chapter of Daniel he mentions7 the Ten Kingdoms by name that were to be formed and to be destroyed and should Scott’s Bible not be at hand give me leave to mention them 1st Senate of Rome 2d The Greeks of Ravina 3d The Lombards in Lombardy. 4th The Huns8 in Hungary. 5th The Alemanes in Germany9 6th The Franks in France 7th The Burgundians in Burgundy10 8th The Goths in spain 9th The Britons 10th Saxon in Britain—Now Sir abstracted from the Above what is Bonaparte contending for the freedom of the Seas we have certainly the same thing in View by our War What has Great Britain in view by Bribing all the Crown’d Heads in Europe the Trade of the whole World and if she had it in her power I verily believe she would not suffer a Cock Boat of any other nation to swim the Ocean11—Bonaparte has drawn his Sword and has Declared it shall not return into the Scabbard untill the Ocean shall be a public high way for all nations and as I believe no permanent peace will take place ’till this thing is effected I hope and Trust he will keep his word as Providence has12 put the means in his power—And as there are many of these Kingdoms are already down we have every reason to infere from the same Document the rest will follow and as Britain is one of them the sooner she goes the better it will be for the whole World With respect and esteem I am Your most obedient St

Thomas Leiper

RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Late President of the United States Monticello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL as received 24 Dec. 1813. FC (Lb in Leiper Papers, Friends of Thomas Leiper House, on deposit PPL). Enclosure: extract from TJ to George Logan, 3 Oct. 1813, printed in Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 6 Dec. 1813.

Thomas Leiper (1745–1825), merchant, was a native of Scotland who immigrated to Maryland in 1763. He relocated two years later to Philadelphia, where he became a leading tobacco merchant and the owner of quarries and snuff mills. During the Revolutionary War, Leiper supported the American cause both financially and through service as a sergeant in an elite volunteer unit, the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. TJ rented a house in Philadelphia from him during his tenure as secretary of state, 1790–93, and sold him tobacco on a number of occasions thereafter. Leiper strongly opposed the imposition of excise taxes on snuff and other tobacco products in petitions to Congress and to President George Washington in 1794. To transport stone from his quarries, he constructed a short, horse-drawn railroad in 1809–10 that is now thought to have been Pennsylvania’s first. In addition, Leiper served regularly as president of the Philadelphia Common Council and as a director of the Bank of Pennsylvania, was a director of the Bank of the United States toward the end of his life, and helped found the Franklin Institute (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends ; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , esp. 17:267–9, 24:714, 25:529, 32:209–10; Gibson & Jefferson to TJ, [before 12 Apr. 1812]; James T. Callender, A Short History of the Nature and Consequences of Excise Laws [Philadelphia, 1795], 56–74, 78–9, 86–7; Journal of the First Session of the Eleventh House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [Lancaster, 1800], 246; Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 15 Oct. 1802; Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register, 22 Oct. 1803; Albany Advertiser, 18 Jan. 1817; Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 20 Jan. 1820; Philadelphia Aurora & Franklin Gazette, 8 July 1825).

Leiper alluded to the western Roman Empire. He thought that TJ did not hold Joseph Lomas Towers’s Illustrations of Prophecy, 2 vols. (London, 1796; repr. Philadelphia, 1808; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 1548) in great estimation because TJ contrasted it with “some other late writer (the name I forget) who has undertaken to prove contrary events from the same sources; and particularly that England is not to be put down” (TJ to Leiper, 21 Jan. 1809 [DLC]). aston bucks: Aston Sandford, Buckinghamshire, England.

1RC: “Chaper.” FC: “chapter.”

2RC: “Chaper.” FC: “chapter.”

3RC: “Kingdom.” FC: “Kingdoms.”

4FC: “Time.”

5RC: “rceipt.” FC: “receipt.”

6RC: “finishing his notes—His notes on.” FC: “finishing his notes—On.”

7RC: “mention.” FC: “mentions.”

8RC: “Hunds.” FC: “huns.”

9RC: “Garmany.” FC: “Germany.”

10RC: “Burguny.” FC: “Burgundy.”

11FC ends here.

12RC: “his.”

Index Entries

  • Bible; Daniel referenced search
  • Bible; Revelation referenced search
  • Duvall, Gabriel; book sent to search
  • Great Britain; allegedly mentioned in Bible search
  • Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments (T. Scott) search
  • Illustrations of Prophecy (J. L. Towers) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Leiper, Thomas; and TJ’s letter to G. Logan search
  • Leiper, Thomas; criticizes Great Britain search
  • Leiper, Thomas; identified search
  • Leiper, Thomas; letters from search
  • Leiper, Thomas; on Napoleon search
  • Leiper, Thomas; on prophecy search
  • Logan, George; TJ’s correspondence with published search
  • Madison, James; works sent to search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; defended search
  • newspapers; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser search
  • Philadelphia; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser search
  • Scott, Thomas; Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments search
  • Scott, Thomas; on biblical book of Daniel search
  • Towers, Joseph Lomas; Illustrations of Prophecy search