Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Gales & Seaton"
sorted by: editorial placement

Gales & Seaton to Thomas Jefferson, 15 September 1813

From Gales & Seaton

Office of the National Intelligencer Sept. 15. 1813

Sir,

In compliance with your request, communicated through Mr Saml H. Smith, we enclose a statement of your acct for the Intelligencer, from the commencement of your subscription.—The dates of the credits, we cannot give, not finding them on the books, as kept by Mr Smith’s clerk.

Very respectfully Your Obt Servts

Gales & Seaton

RC (DLC); in the hand of Joseph Gales; at foot of text: “Hon. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Sept. 1813 and so recorded in SJL.

The printing partnership of Gales & Seaton, publishers of the Washington National Intelligencer, lasted from 1812 until 1860. The National Intelligencer was an organ of Jeffersonian Republicanism during TJ’s lifetime and published the most authoritative version of the congressional debates for many years. TJ began taking the paper in 1800 from Samuel H. Smith, its first proprietor, and he continued his subscription until 1818. Gales & Seaton also published the Washington Universal Gazette, 1812–14, and an enormous quantity of public records through its Register of Debates in Congress (1825–37), American State Papers (1832–61), and Annals of Congress (1834–56). The firm’s partners eventually became Whigs and lost lucrative government printing contracts when Andrew Jackson’s Democratic party came to power late in the 1820s (William E. Ames, A History of the National Intelligencer [1972]; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1416, 1479; 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 , 2:1031, 1294, 1349).

Joseph Gales (1786–1860) was born in England and immigrated to America in 1795 with his father of the same name, who was also a prominent journalist. He spent his youth in Philadelphia and in Raleigh, North Carolina, and he attended the University of North Carolina. In 1807 Gales became a reporter for the National Intelligencer. Smith took him into partnership two years later, and he became sole proprietor in 1810. Gales served briefly in the local militia during the War of 1812, became active in the American Colonization Society, and was mayor of Washington, 1827–30 (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 ; Washington Constitution, 24 July 1860).

William Winston Seaton (1785–1866), Gales’s brother-in-law, was a native of King William County. The two men collaborated harmoniously as co-editors and owners of the National Intelligencer until Gales’s death. Seaton then issued the paper by himself until rising debts forced him to sell it in 1864. He was also a War of 1812 veteran and shared his partner’s interest in the American Colonization Society. Seaton served in his turn as mayor of Washington, 1840–50 (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 ; Josephine Seaton, William Winston Seaton of the “National Intelligencer”: A Biographical Sketch [1871]; Washington Daily Constitutional Union, 16 June 1866).

Index Entries

  • Gales, Joseph; identified search
  • Gales & Seaton (Washington firm); and the National Intelligencer search
  • Gales & Seaton (Washington firm); identified search
  • Gales & Seaton (Washington firm); letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; Account with National Intelligencer search
  • National Intelligencer (Washington newspaper); TJ’s account with search
  • newspapers; subscriptions to, by TJ search
  • Seaton, William Winston; identified search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; editor of National Intelligencer search
  • subscriptions, for publications; newspapers search