Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Charles André Kierrulf, 20 December 1793

To Charles André Kierrulf

Philadelphia Dec. 20. 1793.


The President has referred to me the letter you wrote him inclosing a paper addressed to Congress, which I have now the honor to return to you. Your late arrival in this country is a sufficient cause of your mistaking the mode of conveying this paper to Congress, which cannot be through the President. I take the liberty of advising you to apply to some member of that body who will be able to judge of it’s contents, and to do in it whatever these shall render proper. I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedt servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Charles Andre Kienulf.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL).

Charles André Kierrulf, a self-described expatriate Swede then residing in Philadelphia who claimed to be a pensioner of the Empress of Russia, had written a letter to the President of 10 Dec. 1793 praising him in pretentious and illiterate French and enclosing a paper, not found, soliciting “the patronage of Congress, as a Professor of Moral Philosophy, in some public seminary of learning.” Around the same time Kierrulf sent the President an undated letter requesting an interview, stating that he held republican principles and had committed no crimes, maintaining that his pension demonstrated the beneficent humanity of Catherine II in the face of political acts forced on her by Russian aristocrats, and promising to reveal more when they met (RCs in DNA: RG 59, MLR). On 7 Apr. 1794 the House of Representatives read and tabled this or a later version of Kierrulf’s petition (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1826, 9 vols. description ends , ii, 113–14).

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