Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel H. Smith, 6 March 1809

To Samuel H. Smith

Mar. 6. 09.

Th: Jefferson asks the favor of mr Smith to print for him 100. copies of the within letter each on a separate sheet of 4to letter paper. he would be glad to have them by Thursday evening if practicable. he salutes him with esteem & respect.

RC (DLC: Henley Smith Papers); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by Smith. Not recorded in SJL.

Samuel Harrison Smith (1772–1845) was born in Philadelphia and received an A.B. from the University of the State of Pennsylvania in 1787. He opened a printing business in Philadelphia in 1791 and published two comparatively short-lived periodicals before achieving success with the Universal Gazette in 1797. That same year his essay promoting free public schools, published as Remarks on Education (Philadelphia, 1798), won him an award from the American Philosophical Society and brought him to TJ’s attention. TJ appreciated Smith’s moderate Republicanism and in 1800 urged him to move the Gazette to Washington, D.C. Although the election was still in doubt, Smith complied and began the tri-weekly National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser on 31 Oct. 1800, continuing the Universal Gazette as its weekly counterpart. For the duration of his presidency, the Intelligencer served as TJ’s journalistic spokesman, and Smith also benefited from lucrative government printing contracts. In September 1810 he sold the paper to Joseph Gales Jr. Smith accepted a position as commissioner of revenue in 1813, served briefly as secretary of the treasury in 1814, and was president successively of the Bank of Washington and the Washington branch of the Second Bank of the United States. He was also active in the American Colonization Society, the Washington City Library, and the Washington National Monument Society (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:103–4, 106–7, 2:927, 960; William E. Ames, A History of the National Intelligencer [1972]).

Index Entries

  • American Colonization Society search
  • Bank of the United States, Second search
  • Bank of Washington (D.C.) search
  • education; S. H. Smith on search
  • Gales, Joseph; and the National Intelligencer search
  • National Intelligencer (Washington newspaper); as party newspaper search
  • newspapers; Philadelphia Universal Gazette search
  • Philadelphia; Universal Gazette search
  • Remarks on Education (S. H. Smith) search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; identified search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; letters to search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; prints circular for TJ search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; Remarks on Education search
  • Universal Gazette (Philadelphia newspaper) search
  • Washington (D.C.); bank of search
  • Washington City Library search
  • Washington National Monument Society search