Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Logan, 4 May 1793

To George Logan

May. 4. 1793.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to Dr. Logan, and is sorry that a great mass of business just come on him will prevent him the pleasure of waiting on him tomorrow. The hope of dryer roads is some consolation for postponing his visit a while.

RC (PHi: Dickinson-Logan Papers); addressed: “Dr. Logan”; with penciled note by TJ, presumably intended for the bearer of the letter: “inquire at Mrs. Morris’s in Chestnut Street for Mrs. Logan—they may be [there?].” Not recorded in SJL.

Dr. George Logan (1753–1821) of “Stenton,” near Germantown, Pennsylvania, a founder of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture in 1785 and a member of the American Philosophical Society since January 1793, was a physician by training who devoted much of his life to the practice and dissemination of scientific agriculture, an interest he shared with TJ. A critic of Hamiltonian finance and a friend and political ally of TJ, he served as a Republican in the Pennsylvania legislature in 1795–96 and 1799 and in the United States Senate from 1801 to 1807. As a Quaker pacifist Logan undertook a controversial private peace mission to France in 1798, which led to the passage of the “Logan Act” in 1799 prohibiting private citizens from conducting diplomatic negotiations without government sanction, a measure which did not deter him from pursuing an unsuccessful peace mission to England in 1810. He corresponded frequently with TJ during his presidency and retirement (Frederick B. Tolles, George Logan of Philadelphia [New York, 1953]; Editorial note on Jefferson, Freneau, and the founding of the National Gazette, in Vol. 20: 734–6).

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