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Enclosure: Edward T. Channing to William S. Shaw, 10 December [1818]


Edward T. Channing to William S. Shaw

Dec. 10. [1818]

My dear Sir

If you think it would not be asking too great a favour, I would thank you to request President Adams to forward this No of the North American to President Jefferson. Our wish, as you know, is to have our book more generally known, & certainly then, we should place it in the hands of our distinguished men. I wish you in this to act as your own feelings direct, & you will excuse me if I have asked too much.

I am, dear Sir, yours sincerely,

Edw. T. Channing

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 216:38638); partially dated at foot of text; addressed: “William S. Shaw Esq Boston.”

Edward Tyrell Channing (1790–1856), educator, was born in Newport, Rhode Island. He entered Harvard University in 1804 but did not graduate due to his participation in a student rebellion in 1807. Channing thereafter studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1813. Harvard awarded him an honorary master’s degree in 1819, the same year that it appointed him to the Boylston professorship of rhetoric and oratory. He held that position until his retirement in 1851. Channing was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1823. He died in Cambridge (DAB; Harvard Catalogue, 22, 50, 958; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Book of Members, 1780–Present [2006], 72; Channing, Lectures Read to the Seniors in Harvard College [1856]; Boston Daily Advertiser, 11 Feb. 1856).

William Smith Shaw (1778–1826), attorney and librarian, was a nephew of Abigail Adams. He was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard University in 1798, and afterwards served as John Adams’s secretary, first in Quincy and then in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., ultimately living with the Adams family for three years. In 1801 Shaw commenced the study of law in Boston. Admitted to the bar two years later, he was clerk of the federal district court for Massachusetts for twelve years beginning in 1806. Shaw was a founder of the Anthology Society, and after that society became the Boston Athenaeum he served as its librarian, 1807–22, and secretary, 1807–23. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810. Shaw died in Boston (ANB; DAB; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Book of Members, 377; Joseph B. Felt, Memorials of William Smith Shaw [1852]; Lyman H. Butterfield, Richard Alan Ryerson, C. James Taylor, Sara Martin, and others, eds., Adams Family Correspondence [1963– ]; Harvard Catalogue, 181; Boston Commercial Gazette, 1 May 1826).

Separately from this letter, TJ received the December 1818 issue (no 22), part of vol. 8 of the North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal. Channing edited the journal from May 1818 until October 1819 (DAB).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; sends works to TJ search
  • Channing, Edward Tyrell; as editor ofNorth American Review and Miscellaneous Journal search
  • Channing, Edward Tyrell; identified search
  • Channing, Edward Tyrell; letter from, to W. S. Shaw search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal search
  • Shaw, William Smith; conveys letters to and from TJ search
  • Shaw, William Smith; identified search
  • Shaw, William Smith; letter to, from E. T. Channing search