Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 31 March 1809

To James Madison

Monticello Mar. 31. 09.

Dear Sir

Since my letter of yesterday I have recieved yours of the 27th & 28th and in the former the 500.D. for mrs Trist. the bronze time piece mentioned will run a fortnight, but I found it better to wind it up once a week, as during the 2d week the greater expansion of the spring occasioned her to lose time. with respect to newspapers, none can now come to Washington for me. of those which, while there, I ordered & paid for, I directed a discontinuance except 3. or 4. which will come on to me here. many others were sent gratis (which I rarely opened) to me as President of the US. they probably will be continued to you on the same principle.

I inclose a letter from the Speaker of Indiana on the election of two persons for the legislative council. such an one was forwarded to me in Oct. by mr Thomas then Speaker, as he told me; but I never recieved it. he therefore wrote back for another copy which is but now recieved. you will find among the papers I left you, a letter from Govr Harrison advising as to the choice to be made. Erving seems to have erred in principle, by not taking his stand with the government of Spain de facto. it is the more unlucky as Joseph Bonaparte has been said to be well disposed towards us.

Affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of text: “The President of the US.” Enclosure: General Washington Johnston to TJ, 17 Feb. 1809, not found but recorded in SJL as received from Vincennes on 30 Mar. 1809, with TJ’s notation “P.,” probably his indication that the subject matter was presidential or that the document was sent to the president.

The newspapers for which TJ was terminating his subscriptions probably included the New York Mercantile Advertiser. On 30 Oct. 1809 SJL records the receipt from New York of a missing 12 Oct. 1809 letter from John Crookes, publisher of the Mercantile Advertiser, 1799–1816. In a 3 Nov. 1809 reply (recorded in SJL but not found) TJ enclosed ten dollars to cover his subscription for the year 1808 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:661–2; 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 , 2:1249).

By territorial ordinance the Indiana House of Representatives submitted two names to the president when a vacancy on the territory’s Legislative Council was to be filled. Speaker Jesse B. thomas wrote TJ on 12 Oct. 1808 (MoSHi: TJC-BC) enclosing the 6 Oct. nominations of Hugh McCally and Charles Beggs (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 7:597–8). TJ notified him that this had miscarried and Thomas, now the territorial delegate to Congress, agreed to send for another copy on 10 Dec. 1808 (DLC). The letter from William Henry harrison advising on the choice is not recorded in SJL and has not been found, but Madison soon appointed McCally (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:122, 125 [16, 21 June 1809]).

Index Entries

  • Beggs, Charles; and Indiana Territory Legislative Council search
  • Bonaparte, Joseph, king of Spain search
  • Cádiz; U.S. consul at search
  • clocks; in President’s House search
  • Crookes, John; letters from accounted for search
  • Crookes, John; letters to accounted for search
  • Erving, George William; and Cádiz consulate search
  • Harrison, William Henry; and appointment of territorial delegate search
  • household articles; clocks search
  • Indiana Territory; Legislative Council search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; and newspaper subscriptions search
  • Johnston, General Washington; letters from accounted for search
  • Madison, James; letters to search
  • McCally, Hugh search
  • Mercantile Advertiser (New York City newspaper) search
  • newspapers; New York Mercantile Advertiser search
  • newspapers; subscriptions to, by TJ search
  • New York (city); Mercantile Advertiser search
  • President’s House; sitting room clock at search
  • subscriptions, for publications; newspapers search
  • Thomas, Jesse B. search