Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Forsyth to Thomas Jefferson, 16 January 1819

From John Forsyth

Washington Jany 16. 1819

J Forsyth presents his best acknowledgements to Mr Jefferson for the Copy of the proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia & particularly for the flattering assurances inscribed upon it. For the work itself J Forsyth hopes the author will receive the highest of all human rewards an opportunity of witnessing the blessings it will confer upon his Country

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Jan. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Patterson, 31 Jan. 1819, on verso; addressed: “Mr Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Washington, 18 Jan.

John Forsyth (1780–1841), attorney and public official, was born in Fredericksburg and raised in Augusta, Georgia, before matriculating at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). Following his graduation in 1799, he studied law in Augusta and was admitted to the bar in 1802. Forsyth enjoyed a long political and diplomatic career, beginning with his selection as attorney general of Georgia in 1808. He served as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives, 1813–18, and was promoted to fill a vacancy in the Senate late in 1818. The following year Forsyth resigned his seat to accept appointment as minister plenipotentiary to Spain, serving in this capacity until 1823. He returned thereafter to the House of Representatives from 1823 until his election as governor of Georgia in 1827. After a single gubernatorial term Forsyth was elected to the Senate once more and occupied this position from 1829 until 1834. While serving as a senator he supported President Andrew Jackson, who rewarded Forsyth for his opposition to Nullification and defense of the president’s attack on the Second Bank of the United States with appointment as secretary of state in 1834. He held this office until the term of Jackson’s successor, Martin Van Buren, ended in 1841. Forsyth died in Washington (ANB; DAB; Alvin Laroy Duckett, John Forsyth, Political Tactician [1962]; JEP, 3:174, 175 [11, 15 Feb. 1819]; Jackson, Papers; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 23, 28 Oct. 1841; gravestone inscription in Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.).

Index Entries

  • Forsyth, John; and University of Virginia commissioners’ report search
  • Forsyth, John; identified search
  • Forsyth, John; letter from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia search
  • Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); distributed by TJ search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; commissioners’ report search