Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Charless to Thomas Jefferson, 26 July 1810

From Joseph Charless

St. Louis, July 26th 1810

Most esteemed Sir

By advice of General William Clark I take the liberty to enclose the within to Mr Meriwether, as the Most certain Mode of ensuring its Safe arrival.

I am not fond of forcing myself on the attention of the Great, however as this sheet has afforded the opportunity, which I expect may never again happen,—Be pleased to accept my poor prayers—May you live long without disease of Mind or Body, without a thought of those missguided wretches who strive to disturb your peace, and may the reward which is ever due to the truly virtuous & good await you when the searcher of hearts thinks proper to call you hence. Americans will teach their children to lisp “Jefferson & liberty.” they are grateful, for the present faction hides it, so as only to render it more Resplendent when the delusion has passed away.

Adieu for ever, my political father, adieu.

Joseph Charless

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq.”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Sept. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Joseph Charless (1772–1834), printer, immigrated by 1796 to the United States via France as a political refugee from his native Ireland. Following the failure of his attempts to start newspapers in Lewistown and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he worked for other printers in Philadelphia. Charless ventured west in 1803, spending time in Kentucky and Ohio before moving in 1808 to Saint Louis, where he established a press and, with the encouragement of Governor Meriwether Lewis, began publishing the Missouri Gazette, the first newspaper in Louisiana (later Missouri) Territory. Charless gave up journalism in 1820 and relied thereafter on his farms, boardinghouse, and drugstore. A vocal supporter of Missouri statehood and Jeffersonian Republicanism, he opposed slavery and the emerging Democratic party of Andrew Jackson (William H. Lyon, “Joseph Charless, Father of Missouri Journalism,” Missouri Historical Review 17 [1961]: 133–45; David Kaser, Joseph Charless: Printer in the Western Country [1963]; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:162, 171, 433, 2:877).

Index Entries

  • Charless, Joseph; identified search
  • Charless, Joseph; letters from search
  • Charless, Joseph; praises TJ search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; as M. Lewis’s executor search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; mentioned search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; executor of search
  • Meriwether, William Douglas; as M. Lewis’s executor search