Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James L. Edwards to Thomas Jefferson, 20 August 1811

From James L. Edwards

Boston, 20th August 1811

Respected Sir,

I presume an apology is unnecessary on the present occasion; and shall therefore proceed to the subject of this communication without. It may not probably have escaped your recollection, that for certain services performd by Mr. James Lyon and mr. Samuel Morse, formerly Editors of the Savannah Republican, you promised them the sum of $1000— a promise from so distinguished a character as the President of the U. S. was considered in the light of a debt, as much so as if it had been “for value received”: at any rate, so it was considered by them: and as such it was transferred with the establishment of the paper above mentioned, to Mr. Norman McLean; he informed me a short time previous to his death, that he had some expectation of getting the money, as he had the honor of receiving a letter from you on the subject. Mr. McLean was in debt to me, and on my leaving Savannah I gave up his note which I held, in consequence of his promise that I should be paid as soon as he received the money from you—So much confidence did I repose in him, that I acted in the way I have stated—it was perhaps impolitic. I trust, Sir, that you will take this into serious consideration, and that you will be disposed to grant me some relief, as I at present labor under the distresses peculiar to the times, and to the republicans of this Town.

If you doubt that what I have stated is1 true, I would refer you to David Everett, Esq. Editor of the Boston Patriot for my character, as well as to Benjamin Homans, Esq. Secretary of this Commonwealth; Major Daniel Parker and Lewis Edwards, of the War Department; Hon. Ezekiel Bacon, a member of Congress from Pittsfield in this State; Colonel Peterson Goodwyn, a member of Congress from Dinwiddie, Virg. (the county where I was born.) and many other gentlemen of respectability with some of whom you have probably a personal acquaintance—

An early answer will greatly oblige me. That you may enjoy in your retirement all the happiness which your public Services certainly entitle you to, is the desire of your

most humble Servant—

James L. Edwards

RC (DLC); between dateline and salutation: “Hon. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Aug. 1811 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to James Lyon, 5 Sept. 1811.

James L. Edwards, printer, was associated with at least four short-lived newspapers between 1805 and 1812: the Halifax North-Carolina Journal (1805–06), the Petersburg Virginia Mercury (1807–08), the Boston Scourge (1811), and the Boston Satirist (1812) (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:345, 346, 2:765, 1135; Salem, Mass., Essex Register, 12 Sept. 1810; Raleigh Star, 1 Nov. 1810).

1Edwards here canceled “not.”

Index Entries

  • Bacon, Ezekiel; reference for J. L. Edwards search
  • Edwards, James L.; and Georgia Republican search
  • Edwards, James L.; identified search
  • Edwards, James L.; letters from search
  • Edwards, Lewis; reference for J. L. Edwards search
  • Everett, David; and Boston Patriot search
  • Georgia; newspapers search
  • Georgia Republican (Savannah newspaper) search
  • Goodwyn, Peterson; reference for J. L. Edwards search
  • Homans, Benjamin; reference for J. L. Edwards search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; and newspaper subscriptions search
  • Lyon, James; and Georgia Republican search
  • Massachusetts; newspapers search
  • Massachusetts; Republicans in search
  • McLean, Norman; and Georgia Republican search
  • Morse, Samuel; and Georgia Republican search
  • newspapers; Boston Patriot search
  • newspapers; Savannah Georgia Republican search
  • newspapers; subscriptions to, by TJ search
  • Parker, Daniel (of War Department); reference for J. L. Edwards search
  • Republican party; in Mass. search
  • subscriptions, for publications; newspapers search