Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Campbell to Thomas Jefferson, 5 November 1809

From David Campbell

State of Tennessee Knox Ville Novr 5th 1809—

Dear Sir.

Having a direct conveyance I cannot deny myself the pleasure of expressing the high consideration and Esteem I continue to entertain for you. I shall not name public or political matters to you. You know them all better than I do myself. The State of Tennessee increases in population and consequence remarkably indeed. The Cherokees will soon leave us their Country. They are daily emigrating to their new Settlements West of the Mississippi.

America is the fortunate Country, and the State of Tennessee is the fortunate spot in America. No invading enemy can ever reach our peaceful Country. No part of the Earth exceeds us in Soil, climate, and fine Streams of Water. We will be a farming and a manufacturing Country. When I consider that happiness is the endowment of the mind, I rejoice I have settled here, where my family can enjoy plenty, and ease.

My Son Thomas Jefferson Campbell is now eighteen years old, a fine constitution, and tolerable education. He hesitates whether he will study law or physic. Will you give me your opinion on this Subject, if not too troublesome. I have now another Son three years old. I have named him for another favourite, General Victor Moreau. I intend my Son Jefferson shall visit you at Monte Cello shortly that he may see the man for whom he was named, and who has allways been the Admiration of his father.

May every felicity attend you through the revolving Ages of time and Eternity

David Campbell

RC (DLC); addressed: “The Honble Thomas Jefferson esqr Monte Cello State of Virginia Favd by Lieut Payton”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Jan. 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

David Campbell (1750–1812) was born in Augusta County. Late in the 1770s he combined service as a Virginia militia officer, rising to major, with employment as clerk of Washington County. Campbell was admitted to the bar and moved to North Carolina, where he represented Greene County in the state legislature and served as a judge both for North Carolina and for the short-lived state of Franklin in what is now eastern Tennessee. In 1790 George Washington appointed Campbell a judge for the Southwest Territory, and after Tennessee won statehood he sat on its Superior Court of Law and Equity, 1797–1807. James Madison appointed Campbell a territorial judge in Mississippi in 1811 but poor health kept him from filling that position (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 16:478; Jackson, Papers description begins Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 1980– , 6 vols. description ends , 1:122n; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 1:50, 2:174, 175 [7, 8 June 1790, 2, 3 Mar. 1811]; Thomas Jefferson Campbell, Records of Rhea: A Condensed County History [1940], 118–20).

On 3 Nov. 1791 Campbell advised TJ of the naming of thomas jefferson campbell (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 22:290, 27:805). The French revolutionary general Jean victor moreau was accused of complicity with the Royalists, exiled from France in 1804, and soon settled near Trenton, New Jersey (Connelly, Napoleonic France description begins Owen Connelly and others, eds., Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1985 description ends , 344).

Index Entries

  • Campbell, David (1750–1812); identified search
  • Campbell, David (1750–1812); letters from search
  • Campbell, Thomas Jefferson; family of search
  • Campbell, Victor Moreau search
  • Cherokee Indians; migration of search
  • Indians; Cherokee search
  • Indians; in Tenn. search
  • Moreau, Jean; child named after search
  • Tennessee; Indians in search