Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Blount, 4 August 1803

From Thomas Blount

Tarborough 4th August 1803


My friend Mr John G. L. Schenck—a respectable merchant of this place, a good Citizen, & a great admirer of your character and Administration—is about to travel for health and pleasure to the Sulphur & sweet Springs in Virginia—and as Monticello lies directly in his Route, and he feels the desire common to all Republicans to be personally known to you, I respectfully beg leave to introduce him to you, and to assure you that he is not unworthy the honor of your acquaintance—

I am, with the greatest Respect, Your obedient, humble Servant

Tho. Blount

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Aug. and “by mr Schenk” and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Blount (1759-1812), a landowner and merchant from Craven County, served as a lieutenant in the North Carolina Continental line during the American Revolution and later as a major general in the state militia. Although captured and taken to England as a prisoner during the war, he joined his brothers William and John Gray in establishing a lucrative post-war mercantile business in North Carolina, with its Tarboro branch under his control. Blount was a trustee of the state university, a commissioner in the plan for the city of Raleigh, a state legislator in 1788, and a Republican member of Congress from 1793 to 1799, 1805 to 1809, and 1811 until his death (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; Alice Barnwell Keith and others, eds., John Gray Blount Papers, 4 vols. [Raleigh, N.C., 1952-82], 1:xxv-xxvi; 4:124n; William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 vols. [Chapel Hill, 1979-96], 1:182-3).

A native of Russia, john g. l. schenck, settled in Tarboro, where he had many business connections with the Blount family. In 1795 he traveled to Philadelphia intending to act as their commercial agent but eventually returned to Tarboro, where he died from tuberculosis in 1806 (Blount Papers, 2:209).

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