Thomas Jefferson Papers

Ann Craig to Thomas Jefferson, 20 March 1809

From Ann Craig

March 20th1–1809

Dear Sir

You will be surprisd, I doubt not, on receiving a Letter from a very old acquaintance, Ann Craig, formerly of Williamsburg, who takes the liberty of addressing you. When you studied law in Williamsburg, you did me the honor to lodge in my house: I was then in easy Circumstances; but from the fire in Richmond, the death of my Brother Doctor Pasture, and other misfortunes, this is far from being the case now; insomuch that I have been for several years, and now am, under the necessity of depending upon my relations for support But from the death of several of my nearest relations, and others of them being in debt, so it is, that so little is rais’d for my support, that the Lady with whom I am plac’d (Mrs Markham near Manchester) is but indifferently paid for my Board. Being thus, Dear Sir, very old infirm, and dependent, I avail myself of the privilege these give the unfortunate, to request the favor of a small annual contribution for the support of a needy relation, being Cousin german to your Father. my greatest wish is to be enabled by my Friends to return to my native place Williamsburg, and there to end my days.

The above statement, Dear Sir, is but too true; but should you have any doubts on the subject, or wish for further information, I beg leave to refer you to my Friend Mr Edm’d Randolph, or Dr Turpin: and should you think proper to grant me any assistance, I shall ever retain a most grateful sense of the obligation. I am Dear Sir with the greatest

respect and consideration your most obt hbl Ser

Ann Craig

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as a “begging” letter received 23 Mar. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

Ann Pasteur Craig (ca. 1739–1810) married Thomas Craig, a Williamsburg tailor and tavern keeper who ran the Market Square Tavern in the 1760s. She evidently based her claim of relationship to TJ on the marriage of her brother William Pasteur to Elizabeth Stith, TJ’s second cousin through their shared great-grandparents William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph. Although her brother provided for her in his will upon his death in 1791, Craig had no other means of support and was living with Mary markham in Chesterfield County (Armistead C. Gordon, “The Stith Family,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , 1st ser., 22 [1913]: 47; Jonathan Daniels, The Randolphs of Virginia [1972]; Richmond Virginia Argus, 21 Dec. 1810).

cousin german: The son or daughter of one’s uncle or aunt; first cousin (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

On 5 Apr. 1809 Rachel Satterwhite sent TJ a similar request for financial aid, not found but recorded in SJL as received 14 Apr. 1809 from Alexandria with the notation: “Begging.”

1Manuscript: “th20.”

Index Entries

  • charity; requests to TJ for search
  • Craig, Ann Pasteur; identified search
  • Craig, Ann Pasteur; letters from search
  • Craig, Ann Pasteur; seeks TJ’s aid search
  • Craig, Thomas search
  • Jefferson, Peter (TJ’s father); family of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; loans requested of search
  • Markham, Mary search
  • Pasteur, William search
  • Randolph, Edmund; and A. Craig search
  • Randolph, Mary Isham (TJ’s great-grandmother) search
  • Randolph, William (TJ’s great-grandfather) search
  • Satterwhite, Rachel; letters from accounted for search
  • Satterwhite, Rachel; seeks TJ’s aid search
  • Stith, Elizabeth search
  • Turpin, Philip; and A. Craig search
  • women; letters from; A. Craig search