Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Barnes to Thomas Jefferson, 26 March 1817

From John Barnes

George Town Coa 26 March 1817.

Dear Sir—

I take the liberty of inclosing—the Messenger of this Town, 24th as it contains,—two—interesting—Prothetic letters, of the late President Adams in 1756.—to the late Judge Cushing (—then Brother school master,)—will, I am sure please you—his friend Dalton was I presume—a Branch—if not the very man—the good & worthy—but unfortunate T: Dalton1 late of the City of washington whose former Residence in abt 1786. was I think—at Boston or Salem—Mr Dalton had a seat in the Senate of Congress at New York before the present Constitution—was formed—at which time I was personaly known to him—

most respectfully & very sincerely—Your Obedt servant.

John Barnes,

RC (ViU: TJP-ER); endorsed by TJ as received 31 Mar. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Vaughan, 7 June 1817, on recto and verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Georgetown, 26 Mar. Enclosure: Georgetown Messenger, 24 Mar. 1817.

prothetic: “antecedent” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ), in this context presumably meaning prior to attaining renown. The enclosed newspaper contained two letters, dated 1 Apr. and 19 Oct. 1756, from John adams to Charles cushing, Adams’s former classmate at Harvard and fellow schoolmaster. In the first Adams leaned toward becoming a clergyman (and spoke in passing of his fondness for his friend and classmate Tristram dalton), and in the second he explained his decision to begin studying law instead. The letters are reprinted in Robert J. Taylor, Richard Alan Ryerson, C. James Taylor, and others, eds., Papers of John Adams (1977– ), 1:12–5, 21–3.

1Manuscript: “Dalto.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; friendship with schoolmates search
  • Barnes, John; letters from search
  • Barnes, John; sends newspaper to TJ search
  • Cushing, Charles; friendship with J. Adams search
  • Dalton, Tristram; friendship with J. Adams search
  • Georgetown, D.C.; Messenger search
  • newspapers; GeorgetownMessenger search