Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Gilpin to Thomas Jefferson, 7 August 1809

From George Gilpin

Alexandria August 7th 1809

Dear Sir,

A Sense of duty and respect has for a long time urged me to write to & to thank you for a favor which you conferred on me as an individual and also for that Obligation which I lay under with the rest of my fellow Citizens for the great and eminent Services rendered to our country as President of the United States for during the whole time it did appear to me that your desire and constant Aim was to establish compleat civil & Religious liberty and by your example precept and authority endeavoured to order things that our Country if no more might be made happy on this Globe and remain an Assileum for the persecuted and opressed, you have as far as possible given the United States a fair trial how long her Citizens will preserve the blessing time must Shew the rapid prosperity of this Country has excited in a part of the inhabitants a thirst for gain that has produced bad Symptoms, and England with whoes intrest our carreing trade interferes will use all her art and by every means in her power draw a part of the people of these States to her intrest and by their means endeavour to distract our counsels and divide us if She can and there are disappointed men who will undertake any thing, England has assumed a consequence in the Scale of nations which She cannot Support without the whole of the carreing trade the profits of which is to enable her Merchants to lend the goverment money & to rear Seamen to man her fleets when1 they ar wanted to monopolise all the profitable part of the Carreing trade has been her Aim for many years, any nation or Set of men who think that2 England will give up any part that She can hold will find them Selves mistaken and I believe the proposial Sent by Oakley to Mr Erskine a trick, the Embargo and non intercourse had distressed her the Baltick was shut and Supplies of navel Stores and provisions must be had for, Europe and the West Indies and that immediately and to encurge her fleet by prizes for that will come to pass,  Mr Jackson has not Arived yet. I hope that you will pardon me for troubling you by writing on3 a Subject you understand much better than I do,

I wish you health and happiness. I am with high considerations of respect your very Humble Servt,

George Gilpin

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “To the Honl Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Aug. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

George Gilpin (ca. 1741–1813), a merchant, surveyor, and postmaster in Alexandria, was a native of Cecil County, Maryland. During the American Revolution he had been a colonel of the Fairfax County militia and served on the Fairfax County Committee. Gilpin was a director of the Bank of Alexandria and the Potomac River Company and a justice of the peace and judge of the orphans’ court by TJ’s appointment (T. Michael Miller, Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia 1780–1820 [1991–92], 1:161–2; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 1:388, 404, 423, 520, 545, 2:56, 59 [2 Mar. 1801, 6 Jan., 27 Apr. 1802, 7, 20 Jan. 1804, 9, 18 Nov. 1807]; Alexandria Gazette, Commercial and Political, 28 Dec. 1813).

1Manuscript: “when when.”

2Manuscript: “that that.”

3Manuscript: “on on.”

Index Entries

  • Embargo Act (1807); G. Gilpin on search
  • Erskine, David M.; instructions to search
  • Gilpin, George; and relations with Great Britain search
  • Gilpin, George; identified search
  • Gilpin, George; letters from search
  • Great Britain; G. Gilpin criticizes policies of search
  • Jackson, Francis James; British minister to U.S. search
  • Non-Intercourse Act; G. Gilpin’s comments on search
  • Oakley, Charles; secretary of British legation to U.S. search