From Andrew Shepherd
Orange Ct H Virginia 15th March 1801
In consequence of my Absence last Post, the Mail was opened by a person not altogether as well acquainted with the business, who informed me a mistake was committed in dating a letter on the back addressed to the Presidant—in stead of dating it the 8th March it was dated the 8th Feby which might impress the Post Master at the Fedl. City with a belief that it was intended for Mr. Adams instead of yourself—I hope the Error will be attended with no unpleasant consequence
I am Respectfully Sir Y Obt Svt.
Andw Shepherd Junr
Post Master O Ct H Va
RC (DLC); addressed: “The Presidant of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.
Andrew Shepherd, a storekeeper at Orange Court House, had served as postmaster since 1795 (Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States, 1782–1811, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 1994 description ends , 267; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 29 vols. description ends ,16:123).
Post master at the fedl. city: Thomas Munroe (Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States, 1782–1811, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 1994 description ends , 107; Bryan, National Capital description begins Wilhelmus B. Bryan, A History of the National Capital From Its Foundation Through the Period of the Adoption of the Organic Act, New York, 1914–16, 2 vols. description ends , 1:345–6).
A letter from TJ to Shepherd of 19 Jan. 1794 and one from Shepherd to TJ of 20 Jan., recorded in SJL as received from Orange Court House on 23 Jan. 1794, have not been found.