Thomas Jefferson Papers

John S. Cogdell to Thomas Jefferson, 4 September 1810

From John S. Cogdell

4th September 1810 Charleston South Carolina.

Dear sir

Obtruding on you a letter, no matter what the subject, would seem to require an apology—I am unable to offer any other than the motive which actuates me to send you the enclosed Oration,—if it finds you in a moment of leisure—it will I hope furnish for me an efficient Excuse.

’Tis from the pen of a Gentleman not only, very prominent in the Institution by which he was nominated, but at this moment very popular in our State; he fills the dignified Station of Attorney General— he is a Candidate for that place in the 12th Congress, which Mr Marion—holds in the Eleventh;—had his sphere been located to the narrow confines of Charleston, or Even Our State; I should not have presumed thus, but while the National Councils of our common Country seem to be his destined Orbit, I would fain do my endeavours to make him known as far as I could to men who are capable of estimating his Merits and his political Sentiments at their real Value.

With Sentiments of Veneration I have the honor to Remain Sir, Your very Obedient Servant

John. S. Cogdell

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Sept. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Langdon Cheves, An Oration, delivered in St. Philip’s Church, … Charleston, on the Fourth of July, 1810, in commemoration of American Independence; by appointment of the Seventy-Six Association, and published at the request of that society (Charleston, 1810; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 4687).

John Stevens Cogdell (1778–1847) attended the College of Charleston, studied law under William Johnson, was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1799, and established a practice in Charleston. In 1806 he sought a diplomatic appointment from TJ. Cogdell represented St. Philip and St. Michael parishes in the South Carolina House of Representatives, 1810–18, served as state comptroller general, 1818–21, held a federal appointment as naval officer for the port of Charleston, 1822–32, and was president of the Bank of South Carolina, 1832–46. He also attracted some notice as an amateur painter, sculptor, and musician (Walter B. Edgar and others, Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, 5 vols. [1974– ], 4:121–3; Lawrence Perry Middleton, “John Stevens Cogdell, Charleston Artist” [master’s thesis, University of South Carolina, 1973]; William Dunlap, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States [1834; repr. 1969], vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 217–20; Cogdell to TJ, 5 Mar. 1806 [DLC]; David Williams to TJ, 10 Mar. 1806 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:262, 270 [7, 23 Jan. 1822]; Charleston Mercury, 26 Feb. 1847).

Langdon Cheves replaced Robert marion following the latter’s resignation from the United States House of Representatives and served from 1810 to 1815 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, 1989 description ends ). A letter from Cheves to TJ of 13 Jan. 1812, not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Washington the following day.

Index Entries

  • An Oration, delivered in St. Philip’s Church (Cheves) search
  • Cheves, Langdon; An Oration, delivered in St. Philip’s Church search
  • Cheves, Langdon; letters from accounted for search
  • Cogdell, John S.; identified search
  • Cogdell, John S.; letters from search
  • Cogdell, John S.; sends pamphlet to TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Johnson, William (1771–1834); mentioned search
  • Marion, Robert search