Thomas Jefferson Papers

William F. Gray to Thomas Jefferson, 23 June 1810

From William F. Gray

Fredericksburg June 23rd 1810


I have recieved from Mr Miligan of George Town, a small box, which he requests me to forward to you.—I have this day sent it by the Charlottsville stage.—Wishing it may arrive safe

I remain With Respect Yours &c.

Wm F. Gray

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq. Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 June 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

William Fairfax Gray (1787–1841), binder and seller of books in Fredericksburg, was living in his native Alexandria when he unsuccessfully sought the post of librarian of Congress in 1807. He supplied TJ with the Edinburgh Review until 1825, bound copies of this journal and assorted pamphlets and maps for him, and sold him books. As plans for the University of Virginia developed, TJ suggested in 1818 that Gray establish a bookstore in Charlottesville, but after an initial expression of interest, he decided not to. Gray published the Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 1815–17 and 1819–20, and he served as postmaster of Fredericksburg for at least a decade beginning in 1820. He died in Houston, Texas (Daniel Rapine to TJ, 9 Oct. 1807 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; Gray to TJ, 25 Nov. 1813, 22 Oct. 1818; TJ to Gray, 7 Oct. 1818, 3 Aug. 1825; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1352, 1363, 1413; Sowerby; Brigham, American Newspapers, 2:1116; Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 177; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 13 May 1841).

Joseph Milligan (miligan) indicated in a brief letter to TJ, Georgetown, 8 June 1810 (RC in DLC; at foot of text: “Th: Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ; recorded in SJL as received 25 June 1810), that “by the way of Fredericksburg” he was sending the first two volumes of Alexander Wilson, American Ornithology: or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States, 9 vols. (Philadelphia, 1808–14; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 1022), to which TJ was a subscriber.

Index Entries

  • American Ornithology (A. Wilson) search
  • books; bound for TJ search
  • books; forwarded by W. F. Gray search
  • books; sent by J. Milligan search
  • Gray, William F.; and transmission of packages to and from TJ search
  • Gray, William F.; identified search
  • Gray, William F.; letters from search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letters to accounted for search
  • Milligan, Joseph; sends books to TJ search
  • Wilson, Alexander; American Ornithology search