Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Alexander H. Everett to Thomas Jefferson, 4 September 1816

From Alexander H. Everett

Philadelphia. 4 Sept. 1816.

Mr. Everett. Secretary of Legation in Holland. presents his best respects to Mr. Jefferson with a copy of the Programme of the Haerlem Society of Sciences which he was requested by Dr Van Marum the Secretary of the Society to convey to him. Mr. E. will take it as a great favour if Mr. Jefferson will acknowledge the receipt of the programme by a line addressed to Mr. Everett at Boston.

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “President Jefferson. Monticello. Virginia”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 4 Sept.; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Everett” received 17 Sept. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Programme de la Société Hollandoise des Sciences, à Harlem, pour l’année 1816, reporting at the meeting of 25 May 1816 on what had been received in the preceding year; acknowledging answers to specific questions posed by the society; judging each submission and announcing the prizes awarded to the best replies; reporting that medals and money had been given to the authors of works on an improved hernial bandage and on the invention, in Haarlem before 1440, of printing using movable type; recirculating queries for further consideration and raising new issues, with deadlines of 1 Jan. 1817 and 1 Jan. 1818; asking that responses be in Dutch, French, Latin, or German; and requesting that the papers be left unsigned, adhere closely to their topic, and be clearly and succinctly written (printed circular in DLC: TJ Papers, 209:37210–1; in French; undated; addressed by the Dutch scientist Martin [Martinus] van Marum “à Mr Jefferson ancien President de la société Philosophique à Philadelphia”).

Alexander Hill Everett (1790–1847), diplomat and man of letters, was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard University in 1806. After teaching Greek at Phillips Exeter Academy, 1806–07, he studied law under John Quincy Adams. During Adams’s tenure as minister plenipotentiary to Russia, 1809–11, Everett was his private secretary. Thereafter he served as secretary of the American legation in the Netherlands, 1815–16, as chargé d’affaires there, 1818–24, and as United States envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Spain, 1825–29. A prolific writer, Everett purchased a controlling interest in the North American Review in 1830 and edited the journal for the next five years. During the 1830s he also sat for several terms in the Massachusetts legislature as a Whig, won election to the American Philosophical Society, and was briefly an American agent in Cuba. Everett held the presidency of Jefferson College in Louisiana, 1841–44. Having shifted his party allegiance to the Democrats, he was America’s first commissioner to China, 1845–47. He died shortly after arriving in Canton (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 ; Harvard Catalogue description begins Harvard University Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1925, 1925 description ends , 186; General Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the Phillips Exeter Academy. 1783–1903 [1903], vii; New-York Gazette & General Advertiser, 3 Aug. 1809; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:605, 3:143, 150, 436, 445, 4:52, 6:399, 433, 443 [21, 24 Jan. 1815, 27, 30 Nov. 1818, 5, 9 Mar. 1825, 3 Feb. 1830, 26 Feb., 12, 13 Mar. 1845]; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Minutes, 15 Apr. 1831 [MS in PPAmP]; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 21 Apr. 1841; Everett, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 2 vols. [1845–46]; Baltimore Niles’ National Register, 23 Oct. 1847).

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; members of search
  • bandages search
  • Everett, Alexander Hill; and Société Hollandoise des Sciences search
  • Everett, Alexander Hill; identified search
  • Everett, Alexander Hill; letter from search
  • inventions; movable type search
  • medicine; bandages search
  • printing; movable type search
  • Société Hollandoise des Sciences; program of search
  • The Netherlands; learned societies in search
  • Van Marum, Martin (Martinus); and Société Hollandoise des Sciences search