Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mitchell & Buel, 10 June 1802

From Mitchell & Buel

Poughkeepsie (State N. York) June 10. 1802.


Among the many tributes of respect which you receive from the citizens of the United States, a country News-paper will, perhaps, be of but little consequence. We have, however, herewith, presented Your Excellency with the first No. of the Political Barometer, the succeeding Numbers of which we shall continue to send on, unless you should signify your wish to have them discontinued.

There are inauspicious circumstances which at present attend the establishment of a Republican paper in this part of the country. Some previous attempts have failed; but under the influence of the present general administration, we look, not only, for a more firm adherence among those of our own side, but also, for a renovation of principles, in some measure, as it respects the opposition.

We are, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obdt. Servts.

Mitchell & Buel

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 15 June and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Political Barometer, 8 June.

Isaac Mitchell (ca. 1759–1812), New York newspaper publisher and novelist, served as editor of the Poughkeepsie American Farmer and Dutchess County Advertiser in 1799. His novel, Alonzo and Melissa, printed as a newspaper serial in 1804, was later pirated and became a bestseller from 1811 to 1876 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ). Jesse Buel (1778–1839) was a Connecticut-born printer whose newspaper career started as an apprentice in New York City and progressed to editing partnerships in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Albany. He held the lucrative New York state printership from 1815 until his resignation in 1821, when he pursued his interests as an agricultural writer and reformer (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ).

POLITICAL BAROMETER: the Republican weekly newspaper successor to the Poughkeepsie Guardian was established by Mitchell & Buel in June 1802 and continued until June 1805 when the partnership dissolved and Mitchell became sole publisher (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:722, 726).

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