Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania to Thomas Jefferson, 21 January 1819

From the Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia January 21st1 1819

Respected Sir

In Complyence With a Resolution of a Benevolent Institution Lately Estabblished In This City, Which have Highly Honoured Themselves In Assuming your Illustrious name? They Have further Unanimously Agreed That The Secy of The Said Institution Should Take The Liberty on Behalf of The Said Society to Address you, and Request your Approbation to be Considered a Honoured Member Thereoff—and further to Assertain The Birth of Our Pattern Which is a Day Calculated to be Celebrated In his Memory?

Signed On Behalf of The Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania

Lewis D Belair Secy

P S

Individuelly accept The Assurence of my most Profond Respect for your Health2 and Happiness,

L D Belair

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as a letter from Belair received 28 Jan. 1819 and so recorded (with additional bracketed notation: “Secy Benev soc.”) in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to William Wallace, 20 May 1819, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Montecelo Near Charlotte Ville Va p Mail”; stamped; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 21 Jan.

The Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania was formed in Philadelphia on 16 Jan. 1819 and incorporated on 22 Mar. of that year. Members paid monthly dues and in turn received payments when ill and to defray funeral expenses. The preamble to the society’s constitution indicated that the members, “taking the example of Thomas Jefferson, Esq. late President of the United States, for our pattern, have assumed his illustrious name” (Charter of the Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, (1819)]; Robert Desilver, The Philadelphia Index, or Directory, for 1823 [Philadelphia, 1823], lxxvi).

1Reworked from “20.”

2Manuscript: “Helth.”

Index Entries

  • Belair, Lewis Descoins; and Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Honors & Memberships; Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania, membership search
  • Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania; identified search
  • Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania; letter from search
  • Jefferson Benevolent Institution of Pennsylvania; TJ’s honorary membership in search