Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Morse, 2 March 1802

From Samuel Morse

March 2, 1802.

S. Morse presents his affectionate regards to Mr. Jefferson. A young man, with whom he has become acquainted since his residence in this city, is about to begin a publication in Connecticut, under the title of the “Connecticut Republican Magazine,” he is very desirous to wait on the president and ask his patronage as a subscriber. Mr Jefferson will feel the delicate situation of the writer between a wish to promote the interest of a publication which by becoming the depository of many valuable essays will, he hopes prove of use where it is very much wanted, and the anxiety he must feel, to preserve such an attention to etiquette as might screen him from the imputation of forwardness and assumption. Believing that in a republic, the citizens should as far as practicable be acquainted with those selected to conduct the public affairs; feeling, too, that a personal knowledge of the present chief magistrate must increase the sentiments generally felt in his favor by those who agree with him in politics; the writer has suffered a wish to oblige one who has expressed a high degree of confidence in him, to prevail over other considerations, and ventures to request permission of Mr. Jefferson to wait on him on Sunday morning with the young man in question.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 3 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.

Young man: Luther Pratt was a printing partner and then solo editor of the Farmer’s Oracle, a weekly New York newspaper based first in Lansingburgh and later Troy from 1796 to 1798. After relocating to Connecticut, he solicited public support in October 1801 for the Connecticut Republican Magazine, a proposed 40-page octavo monthly publication “on subjects moral, political and literary.” Pratt printed only one volume of four issues from his shop in Suffield, Connecticut, and included a biographical character sketch of TJ in his first issue of July 1802. He also printed David Austin’s sermons; 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. 35125 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:597, 742; Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 2:684–5; Hartford American Mercury, 22 Oct. 1801; Connecticut Republican Magazine [July 1802], 1:25–31).

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