Thomas Jefferson Papers
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William D. Simms to Thomas Jefferson, 1 July 1816

From William D. Simms

Collectors Office Alexandria 1st July 1816


In the absence of the Collector I have the honour to inform you, that I have this day laden on board, the Sloop Fair play, Charles Brown, master, & consigned to Messrs Gibson & Jefferson, Richmond four Cases of wine received from Mr Cathalan at Marseilles.—The present is the only opportunity that has occurred to forward the wines, since the receipt of your letter, directing the disposition of them.—every precaution I believe has been taken for their preservation

At present there is no french Consul at this Port.—the arrival of one is however daily expected, & I shall take the earliest opportunity to obtain his certificate to the landing of the wine, & will remit the acquit a caution, to Mr Cathalan, by the first vessel which sails from this or any of the adjoining ports to a port in France.

I enclose the Bill for the freight—the amount of Duties is $27.30¢.

Very respectfully I have the honor to be sir y obt sert

W D Simms D C

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 10 July 1816 and so recorded in SJL; notation by TJ on verso: “July 12. wrote to P. Gibson to remit 40.70.” RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Charles Pinckney, 3 Sept. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire @ Monticello. (near) Charlottesville Virginia”; franked; postmarked. Enclosure not found.

William Douglass Simms (d. 1822), attorney and public official, graduated in 1801 from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). In 1805 he opened a law office in Alexandria. Simms was married in 1807 in Pittsburgh, near which his father, Charles Simms, owned land. Simms served as deputy customs collector for the Alexandria district under his father, and he was a captain in the President’s Horse Guards in 1819. The following year President James Monroe appointed him register of the land office at Arkansas, in Arkansas Territory. After the death of his wife, Emily Neville Simms, in 1821, Simms resigned this position and returned to Alexandria. Monroe nominated him as the navy agent at Pensacola, Florida Territory, in 1822, but withdrew the nomination before its confirmation. Simms later died at Pensacola of yellow fever (General Catalogue of Princeton University 1746–1906 [1908], 113; Alexandria Daily Advertiser, 26 Aug. 1805; Pittsburgh Gazette, 10 Nov. 1807; Appleton Morgan, A History of the Family of Morgan [1902], 35; Alexandria City Will Book, 2:358–61 [father’s will]; Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 27 Apr., 20 Nov. 1819, 8 May 1820; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:205, 293, 308 [5 Apr. 1820, 15 Apr., 7 May 1822]; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 19:158, 284, 22:489–90; Arkansas Gazette, 17 Mar. 1821; Alexandria Herald, 20 Sept. 1822).

Index Entries

  • Brown, Charles (ship captain) search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ search
  • Fair Play (sloop) search
  • France; wines from search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and wine acquired by TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; orders wine from S. Cathalan search
  • Simms, Charles; as collector at Alexandria search
  • Simms, William Douglass; as deputy collector at Alexandria search
  • Simms, William Douglass; forwards wine to TJ search
  • Simms, William Douglass; identified search
  • Simms, William Douglass; letter from search
  • wine; French search
  • wine; TJ orders from S. Cathalan search