Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Angelica Schuyler Church, 27 April 1802

From Angelica Schuyler Church

New York April 27—[1802]

Depending on your indulgence Sir, I send my son, the bearer of this letter to your Excellency; to solicit your good offices, by which he may obtain redress, for extreme severity, and the most degrading humiliation: which he has suffered: his ship and cargo illegally and violently seized by the Portuguese our friends and Allies; at a moment of undisturbed peace and security, when on the Coast of Para asking there for those supplies never refused to Ship in distress.

I appeal Sir to your justice and your power as our chief magistrate and protector, and also from a persuasion that you will render me a service which will not violate your duties, when it gratifies the wishes of a Mother.

From business I naturally return to the recollection of times happily passed at the Barriere, they were enlivened by an easy agreeable friendship embellished by instruction and always remembered with satisfaction and regret.

By recent letters from france, Mrs. Cosway is studying at the Louvre; my friend Madame de Corny much depressed in her fortunes, but still brilliant by her wit and charming from her manners—

My daughter is happily married and I have no doubt but she will do for me what your daughters have done for you; yet when I am writing to you Sir, how can I believe that I may soon become a grandmother; Adieu

A Church

RC (DLC); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 27 Apr. 1802 received on 5 May and so recorded in SJL.

John B. Church, Jr., the second SON of John B. Church and Angelica Schuyler Church, sought REDRESS in the 1802 maritime insurance case of John B. Church, Jr., against Tuthill Hubbart. Young Church had insured for $20,000, the cargo of the American brigantine Aurora, which was seized by Portuguese warships off the coast of Brazil in June 1801. He sought exception to a clause in the policy stating that the insurers were not liable for seizure by Portuguese for illicit trade. The case came before a Massachusetts federal circuit court in April 1802. That court ruled in favor of the defendant in October 1803. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in March 1804, reversed the decision and ordered the case remanded (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 25:481; 26:867; Julius Goebel, Jr., and Joseph H. Smith, The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton, 5 vols. [1964–81], 5:272–5; Cranch, Reports description begins William Cranch, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of the United States, 1801–1815, Washington, D.C., 1804–17, 9 vols. description ends , 2:470–1).

For Maria Cosway’s studies at the LOUVRE, see Maria Cosway to TJ, 25 Feb.

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