Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from David Stone, 26 January 1802

From David Stone

Washington 26th January 1802

Dear Sir,

At the request of Doctor William R Cozens I use the freedom to lay before you the two Letters enclosed—the one from Doctor Priestly to Doctor Cozens—the other from the Reverend Mr Wiley Master of the Columbian Academy at Georgetown to me. I have had the pleasure of an acquaintance with Doctor Cozens only a few Days but understand he is at present engaged in the practice of Physic, residing at Georgetown, and means shortly to remove to the Capitol Hill.

I am with the highest Respect and Esteem Your Obedient & Humble Servant

David Stone

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 26 Jan. and “Doctr. Wm. R. Cozens to be librarian” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Joseph Priestley to William R. Cozens, Northumberland, 18 June 1801, expressing his confidence in Cozens’s qualifications for office, but refusing “to solicit Mr Jefferson on the subject”; if the president learns of Priestley’s “good opinion” of Cozens as a physician and in other respects, then “he may of his own accord be disposed to favour you”; otherwise, Priestley declines to add “unnecessarily” to the burdens already affiliated with TJ’s high office. (2) David Wiley to David Stone, Georgetown, 18 Jan. 1802, introducing Cozens as a former neighbor in Northumberland, and now as a neighbor and friend in Georgetown; Cozens wishes to be appointed librarian of Congress and already has letters of introduction from George Logan, John Mason, Andrew Gregg, and John A. Hanna; Wiley recommends Cozens as “well qualified, and as one whose attention to the business might be depended upon” (RCs in same).

David Wiley, a Princeton graduate and Presbyterian minister, spent several years serving congregations in Pennsylvania before becoming master of the Columbian Academy at Georgetown around 1801. He later edited the Agricultural Museum, the first agricultural periodical in the United States, and served as mayor of Georgetown from 1811 to 1812 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Ruth L. Woodward and Wesley Frank Craven, Princetonians, 1784–1790: A Biographical Dictionary [Princeton, 1991], 313–16).

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