Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Charles Burrall, 24 March 1801

From Charles Burrall

Baltimore March 24. 1801

Sir,

I have the honor to inform you that Mr. Dawson sailed from this port on Sunday about 2 OClock PM, and yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Washington City addressed to him in your hand writing. Previous to his sailing he requested me to forward all letters that might arrive at my office for him to Hampton in Virginia—I have therefore returned your letter in the mail of this day addressed to him at that place. Supposing it may be of importance, and considering it doubtful whether he will receive it, I have thought proper to advise you of this circumstance. I do not close a mail for the southward on Mondays which will account for my not returning your letter yesterday.—

I am Sir, with great respect, your obedient servant

Chas: Burrall

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.

In 1791 Charles Burrall served as the clerk in the general post office in Philadelphia alongside his brother Jonathan Burrall, who was the assistant postmaster general. Not long after his brother took the position as cashier of the New York branch of the Bank of the United States in 1792, Charles Burrall became the assistant postmaster general. In 1798, Burrall submitted a report to Congress that was published in Philadelphia as A Letter from the Assistant Post Master-General (see Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from …1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends No. 34903). It was his response to a House committee inquiry calling for recommendations for changes to the law establishing the post office. In early 1800, Burrall became the postmaster at Baltimore, a position he held throughout TJ’s presidency (Joseph Habersham to Charles Burrall, 4 Feb. 1800, in DNA: RG 28, LPG; Syrett, Hamilton, description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends 12:79; 14:546–7; Leonard D. White, The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History [New York, 1959], 180; Stets, Postmasters, description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States, 1782–1811, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 1994 description ends 135; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. Bear, Family Letters Edwin M. Betts and James A. Bear, Jr., eds., Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Columbia, Mo., 1966 description ends , Miscellaneous, 1:289; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. Bear, Family Letters Edwin M. Betts and James A. Bear, Jr., eds., Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Columbia, Mo., 1966 description ends , Finance, 1:813; Clement Biddle, The Philadelphia Directory [Philadelphia, 1791], 158).

TJ’s letter in the mail addressed to Dawson is not recorded in SJL.

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