Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 23 January 1815

From Horatio G. Spafford

[A]lbany, 1 Mo. 23, 1815.

Esteemed Friend,

I was duly honored w[. . .] a late date; and as I am always happy to have [. . .] thy health remains good, so I always esteem it [. . .] favor to receive thy Letters.

The within will [. . .]ow I am busying myself this Winter, & I expec[t] [. . .] a pretty respectable Collection. I am, besid[es] [. . .] printing a small pamphlet, a copy of whi[ch I d]esign for thee; & I am in [hopes]1 it may amuse thee for a few hours. I wish I had permission [to de]dicate it to thee. The title is

“Some Curs[ory Observatio]ns on the ordinary construction of wheel-carriage[s: with an attempt] to Show how they may be improved;—where[by a saving may be] made in the power applied, & the danger of [upsetting most effe]ctually prevented.” I have Patented the i[. . .].

In a Letter f[rom] [. . .] [Preside]nt Adams, of the 2d inst., he enquires, “Did you [see Mr. Jefferson on] your late tour, & how does he do?” I also [. . .] his Son, by the late dispatches from our M[inisters] [. . .] [fer]vent prayers for the long continuance of thy [. . .] I tender thee assurances of my gratitude & [. . .]

Horatio G. Spafford.

RC (DLC); mutilated, with loss of most of center third of text; some words supplied from title page of Spafford, Wheel-Carriages, and John Adams to Spafford, 2 Jan. 1815 (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers); addressed: “Hon. Thomas Jefferson, LL. D. Monticello, Virginia”; franked; postmarked; endorsed by TJ on verso of enclosure as received 5 Feb. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Spafford’s circular letter to prospective assistants, Albany, 1 Jan. 1815, declaring his intention to assemble a collection of “all the valuable Ores, Minerals, and Fossils” found in the state of New York; requesting that samples be sent to him “accompanied with some information of the place, and local situation where it was found, together with the known or supposed quantity thereof”; referring those assisting him to his Gazetteer of the State of New-York for a list of minerals; singling out iron, lead, copper, silver, lime, marble, and gypsum for particular attention; reporting that contributors will be recognized in a projected catalogue; offering to sell them copies of that work at half price; and announcing in a postscript dated 19 Hamilton Street, Albany, 1 Jan. 1815, that he will shortly have available copies of the Gazetteer bound “with neat engravings of Lake George, and the Falls of Niagara” (broadside in DLC: TJ Papers, 203:36125, at head of text, in parentheses: “CIRCULAR,” with address cover of covering letter on verso; broadside in DLC: TJ Papers, 203:36147, with canceled circular of 15 Apr. 1813 [see note to Spafford to TJ, 2 Aug. 1813] on verso).

Spafford patented his improvement in wheel carriages on 25 Nov. 1814 (List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1790, to December 31, 1836, 1872 description ends , 143).

1Omitted word editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; friendship with TJ search
  • Adams, John Quincy; mentioned search
  • A Gazetteer of the State of New-York (H. G. Spafford) search
  • carriages; H. G. Spafford’s improvement to search
  • copper; in N.Y. search
  • fossils; in N.Y. search
  • gypsum (plaster of paris); in N.Y. search
  • inventions; of H. G. Spafford search
  • iron; in N.Y. search
  • lead; in N.Y. search
  • lime (mineral); in N.Y. search
  • marble; in N.Y. search
  • mineralogy; collection of N.Y. minerals, ores, and fossils search
  • New York (state); minerals, ores, and fossils in search
  • New York (state); Niagara Falls search
  • New York (state); works on search
  • Niagara Falls; pictures of search
  • patents; of H. G. Spafford search
  • silver ore; in N.Y. search
  • Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages (H. G. Spafford) search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; A Gazetteer of the State of New-York search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; and patents and patent system search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; collects minerals, ores, and fossils search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; inventions of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages search