To Richard Cutts
Th: Jefferson requests the favour of The Hon’ble Mr Cutts to dine with him the day after tomorrow at half after three, or at whatever later hour the house may rise.
The favour of an answer is asked.
Wednesday Jan’y 27th 1802
RC (ICHi); printed form, with blanks filled by an unidentified hand reproduced in italics.
Richard Cutts (1771–1845) belonged to a prominent family of merchants and Republicans from Saco, Maine. After graduating from Harvard in 1790, he engaged in commercial pursuits before being elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1799. Elected to Congress as a Republican in 1801, Cutts served in the House of Representatives until 1813. He served as superintendent general of military supplies from 1813 to 1817, then as second comptroller of the U.S. Treasury from 1817 to 1829. He married Anna Payne, the younger sister of Dolley Payne Madison, in 1804 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; Paul Goodman, The Democratic-Republicans of Massachusetts: Politics in a Young Republic [Cambridge, Mass., 1964], 121–2; David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman, eds., The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison [Charlottesville, 2003], 41).
The above document is one of the earliest surviving examples of the printed invitations that TJ used to invite guests to dine at the President’s House. They contained blank spaces in which the name of the guest (or guests) and the date of the dinner could be inserted by hand (see illustration).