Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Elizabeth Chester, 15 March 1802

From Elizabeth Chester

City of Baltimore March the 15th. 1801 [i.e. 1802]

The Memorial of Elizabeth Chester
Most humbly Sheweth

That Your Memorialist’s Husband Samuel Chester formerly a Recruiting Officer last American War, during which time he had Enlisted 7,500 Men for the service of the United States and learned them their Exercise, and he has been Dead about 5 Months left me destitute of house or home, as he had nothing himself and Your Memorialist has been Advised to apply to Your Excellency for a little relief as She has one Daughter whom She has bound to the Milliner and Mantua making business, and has two Dollars a Week to pay for her Board which is more than I can do at present without some Assistance, She will be free in a Short time and may be able to Support me in my Old Days by her Trade.

Therefore Your Memorialist Craves some help from Your Excellency, and She will ever pray

Elizabeth Chester

any Commands directed to the post office Baltimore shall be duly attended to—

RC (DLC); at head of text: “To his Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr. President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Mch. 1802 and so recorded in SJL.

Captain Samuel Chester, a private in the Maryland Line during the Revolutionary War, submitted a petition to Congress in December 1796 seeking compensation for his services as a recruiting sergeant in Baltimore County. The committee of claims rejected his request and, as of the time of his death on 3 Dec. 1801, he had not received a pension for wartime service (Harry Wright Newman, Maryland Revolutionary Records [Baltimore, 1967], 88; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 2:612, 651; Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, 4 Dec. 1801).

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