Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Porter, 2 November 1809

To John Porter

Monticello Nov.1 2. 09


On the reciept of your letter I inclosed it to the Secretary at War at Washington, with a request that the clerk, whose department it was, might inform you by letter what your right & remedy was. he has written the inclosed letter to you (forgetting however to sign it,) which the Secretary at war inclosed to me with explanations now also inclosed. you will percieve that you are to apply to Commissioners appointed by the District judge of Virginia, mr Griffin who lives in Williamsburg, and to satisfy them as to the wounds you have recieved. their report you had better deliver to mr Dawson your representative in Congress, who by a few words of conversation at the War office may do what would require a long correspondence to effect. my occupations & desire to be unimplicated in any business will put it out of my power to be further useful to you in it. accept my salutations & best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr John Porter Louisa”; mistakenly endorsed by TJ as a letter of 1 Nov. 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

John Porter (ca. 1756–1827), of Louisa County, claimed to have been confined at home for more than twenty years by rheumatism contracted during more than three years of Revolutionary War service as an enlisted man in the 2d and 11th Virginia regiments. In 1793 he unsuccessfully submitted a claim for arrears in pay during six months as a wagon master. Porter addressed similar claims to James Madison in 1802 and 1806, and in July 1809 he sought Madison’s aid in obtaining a pension (Hamilton J. Eckenrode, Virginia Soldiers of the American Revolution, 1:356, 2:244; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Claims, 36:173, 178; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 6 vols description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 3:476–7, and Pres. Ser., 1:315; Porter to Madison, 1 Oct. 1806 [DLC: Madison Papers]).

your letter is described in note to TJ to William Eustis, 6 Oct. 1809, in which it was enclosed. The explanations now also inclosed, not found, were presumably extracted from Eustis’s 25 Oct. 1809 reply to TJ.

1Word interlined in place of “Oct.”

Index Entries

  • Dawson, John; U.S. Representative from Va. search
  • Eustis, William; as secretary of war search
  • Griffin, Cyrus; as federal judge search
  • health; rheumatism search
  • Porter, John; claim for compensation search
  • Porter, John; identified search
  • Porter, John; letters to search