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Archibald Stuart to Thomas Jefferson, 25 December 1809

From Archibald Stuart

Staunton 25th Decr 09

Dear Sir

The bearer Mr Warrell is a portrait painter who has been introduced to me by Genl Breckenridge as a man of genius in his profession—He is desirous of being made known to you and of having an opportunity of seeing your paintings—I have taken the liberty of complying with his request and of assuring him that your desire to encourage emprovement in any branch would insure him a favorable reception—The small quantity of Tall meadow oat seed which I promised you shall be forwarded to ye Care of our Friend D Carr. I am sorry I have no more—

I am with respect and regard your sincere friend

Archd Stuart

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esq”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Dec. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

Archibald Stuart (1757–1832), a judge of the Virginia General Court from 1800 until a court reorganization in 1831, was born near Staunton, attended the College of William and Mary from 1777 to 1780, served briefly in the militia late in the Revolutionary War, and studied law under TJ, who described him in 1783 as “a young man of good talents.” Stuart represented Botetourt County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1783–85, and sat for Augusta County, 1786–88. He voted for the new United States Constitution at the 1788 Virginia ratification convention. Stuart then set up a legal practice, amassed a sizable fortune, and built a house in Staunton designed by TJ. From 1797 to 1800 he occupied a seat in the Senate of Virginia. A prominent Republican conservative, Stuart was a presidential elector in 1792 and 1800–24. He also served as a trustee of several schools in western Virginia and sat on the 1818 Rockfish Gap commission that, under TJ’s leadership, chose the site of the University of Virginia (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. 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– , 31 vols. description ends , 6:266, 24:704–5; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends ; Richmond Enquirer, 20 July 1832).

James warrell operated a dancing school in Richmond from 1799 until an injury in 1808 induced him to adopt painting as his profession (Valentine Museum, Richmond Portraits In an Exhibition of Makers of Richmond, 1737–1860 [1949], 235–9; Warrell to TJ, 27 May 1816, and note).

Index Entries

  • Breckinridge (Breckenridge), James search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); and oat seed search
  • crops; oats search
  • food; oats search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; TJ’s collection of search
  • oats; seed search
  • paintings search
  • seeds; oat search
  • Stuart, Archibald; identified search
  • Stuart, Archibald; letters from search
  • Stuart, Archibald; recommends J. Warrell search
  • Stuart, Archibald; sends oat seed to TJ search
  • Virginia, University of (Charlottesville); site of search
  • Warrell, James search