Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Theodorus Bailey to Thomas Jefferson, 25 January 1813

From Theodorus Bailey

New York 25. January, 1813.

Dear Sir,

In place of the map of the northern and western parts of this State, by Mr Lay, which I some time since promissed to send you, I substitute and now transmit herewith, that of the Canadas;1 having found upon examination that the former is little more than an abstract of Simeon DeWitt’s map; and that the latter is original and more comprehensive, and includes a particular description of the seat of war on the lines: it is likewise accompanied by a Gazetteer of Upper and Lower Canada, a plan of the City of Quebec &ca

For the kind expressions of personal regard conveyed in2 your favor of August 9. please accept my cordial thanks, and the assurance of a reciprocity of friendly sentiment.

In relation to the British possessions on our Continent, I think with you that it is all important we should speedily wrest them from the Enemy:—this is “a consummation devoutly to be wished”; and I cherish a hope that, profiting by past experience, this will be accomplished during the ensuing spring and summer, with fewer disasters and less loss than have been sustained in the late campaign.

According to recent advices from Great-Britain we have ground to apprehend that a large naval force will be employed in the spring to harrass our trade, and blockade our ports; our gallant little Navy may consequently be driven from the Ocean—in this state of things the prevalent opinion among our Republican Citizens is, that fast sailing Privateers, which could put to Sea with facility from Ports inaccessible to large ships, and calculated to elude pursuit, would be the best species of force to annoy the commerce of the Enemy—but it appears by late proceedings in Congress, that an indisposition exists in that Branch of Government to encourage that kind of warfare: in consequence of this impression a number of private armed Vessels have been withdrawn from that service; and there is cause to apprehend, that no more will be equiped, and few hereafter employed. Admiral Warren is now cruising off our port, and captures every thing coming in or sailing from the City.

The map &ca herewith sent, were only completed a day or two since; which will account for my not complying with my promise at an earlier day.—I beg you to be assured that I shall at all times be happy to serve you in any business you may have in this City or State, and to furnish you with any article that may contribute to your pleasure or advantage—and hope you will at all times freely command me.

With great respect and esteem I am your faithful & Obedient servant,

Theodorus Bailey.

RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Feb. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) David William Smyth, Map of Upper Canada. describing all the New Settlements, Townships, &c with the Countries Adjacent, from Quebec to Lake huron (New York, 1813). (2) Smyth, A Gazetteer of the Province of Upper Canada: to which is added an Appendix, describing the principal towns, fortifications and rivers in Lower Canada (New York, 1813), including an “engraved plan of the city and works of Quebec.”

a consummation devoutly to be wished quotes William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, act 3, scene 1. Although owners of privateers had petitioned the United States congress on 23 Nov. 1812 to lessen the disadvantages under which they operated (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. (all editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. Citations given below are to the edition mounted on the American Memory website of the Library of Congress and give the date of the debate as well as page numbers) description ends , 12th Cong., 2d sess., 1289–93), congressmen seemed disinclined to foster that kind of warfare, as noted above at Edward Bond to TJ, 5 Jan. 1813.

1Manuscript: “Candas.”

2Manuscript: “in in.”

Index Entries

  • A Gazetteer of the Province of Upper Canada (Smyth) search
  • A Map of the State of New York (DeWitt) search
  • Bailey, Theodorus; letters from search
  • Bailey, Theodorus; on War of1812 search
  • Bailey, Theodorus; sends TJ maps search
  • Canada; gazetteer of search
  • Congress, U.S.; and preparations for war search
  • Dewitt, Simeon; A Map of the State of New York search
  • Great Britain; navy of search
  • Lay, Amos; Map of the Northern Part of the State of New York search
  • Map of the Northern Part of the State of New York (Lay) search
  • Map of Upper Canada (Smyth) search
  • maps; of New York search
  • maps; sent by T. Bailey search
  • Shakespeare, William; quoted search
  • Smyth, David William; A Gazetteer of the Province of Upper Canada search
  • Smyth, David William; Map of Upper Canada search
  • War of1812; T. Bailey on search
  • Warren, John Borlase; British naval commander search