Thomas Jefferson Papers

Andrew Logan to Thomas Jefferson, 30 December 1811

From Andrew Logan

Lancaster Dec. 30, 1811.


Forgive an intrusive young man for taking the liberty of writing to you on a subject which is of So little importance both to you and to the community generally—that it is possible you may deem it not worth an answer.—In the course of last week I had a political contest with a gentleman in Lancaster; he states to me that you sold to Englishmen all the stock of the U. S. Bank that is possessed by foreigners, and declares you to be the soal cause of the Congress not chartering that bank, and he also stated to me that without the concent of any authority from government you sold these shares of stock which were reserved for the benefit of U.S. Our contention was warm and maintained with equal warmth on both sides. I had some grounds for believing he would have resorted to desperate measures, but as I appeared resolutely determined to meet him in any way I presume he has given his rage to the empty wind, and suffered it to be wafted to distant regions. the disput arose on a bill that was drafted by a committee from the house of representatives of this state for the chartering of said bank.—

It is a surprising circumstance that the Legislature of this state have not got their eyes open with respect to banking.—

Respected and reverenced father. . . . . I am a young man of only a tolerable education recieved in western Pennsylvania in the borough of Cannonsburgh at Jefferson College 15 miles from the residence of my father at the age of 16 I was taken from school where I only had remained for 18 months but had made tolerable progress in the Latin for the time. I was apprenticed to E: Pentland editor of a gazette in the town of Pittsburgh, where I served a regular apprenticeship from thence I went to Philad in the fall of 1809 and in July last visited Baltimore Washington Alexandria Anapolis and Norfolk and have kept a Journal of all my travels thro’ those places and in Sept. last came to Lancaster, and have been impressed with the idea of going to sea, as the printing business is become so dull in this and other states that it is almost impossible to make a decent living at it.—I have long thought of making application to the Secretary of the Navy for the office of 2d lieutenant if a war should insue I flatter myself I should not be the last in stepping forward to vindicate the honor of my beloved country. I wait your reply before I decide on what course to pursu for a living I possess some property in the western country, though I and it are all at your disposal command me and I will obey you. I look to you for information, as a father I intreat you to instruct me. I am acquainted with Mr Boileau and all the officers of state and can procure their recommendations to any officer in the US.

I have the honor to be

Your obedient and very humble servant

Andrew Logan

RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); ellipsis in original; addressed: “Hon. Thos. Jefferson Esqr Montecello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Lancaster, 30 Dec.; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Jan. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

Andrew Logan (ca. 1791–1870), journalist, reputedly claimed descent from the Mingo chief Logan. He did not enter the United States Navy. Logan published the Beaver Gazette, 1813 and 1816–18, and the Crisis, 1813–16, in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and he sat on the town council in 1816. He moved to Ohio and edited the Cleaveland Gazette, 1818, and the Cleaveland Register, 1818–20, the former being Cleveland’s first newspaper. After returning to Beaver, Logan published the Beaver Republican, 1826–34, and served as the town’s postmaster, 1832–38. He ultimately moved to Davenport, Iowa, where he printed its first newspaper, the Iowa Sun, and Davenport and Rock Island News, 1838–42, and then took up farming (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1445; Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham, The Pioneer Families of Cleveland, 1796–1840 [1914], 1:210–1; Joseph H. Bausman, History of Beaver County Pennsylvania [1904], 1:461, 2:662; J. Fraise Richard and Thomas Henry, History of Beaver County Pennsylvania [1888], 381; Luther F. Bowers, “The Iowa Sun,” State Historical Society of Iowa, Palimpsest 19 [1938]: 313, 322; Davenport Democrat, 9 July 1870).

After the Bank of the United States lost its bid to have its federal charter renewed early in 1811, its trustees tried to obtain a state charter. A memorial seeking such a charter was presented to the Pennsylvania house of representatives on 13 Dec. 1811 and a bill to this effect had its first reading a week later, but it was defeated on 20 Jan. 1812. Thirteen pro-Bank legislators signed a protest against this decision on 25 Jan. 1812, but neither that nor a last-ditch effort to obtain a charter in New York succeeded in saving the institution (Journal of the Twenty-Second House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [Lancaster, 1811 (i.e., 1812)], 69, 103, 271, 302–4; Donald R. Adams Jr., Finance and Enterprise in Early America: A Study of Stephen Girard’s Bank, 1812–1831 [1978], 13–5).

Ephraim pentland edited the Pittsburgh Commonwealth, 1805–10 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:964). Nathaniel Britton boileau was secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1808–17 (Princetonians description begins James McLachlan and others, eds., Princetonians: A Biographical Dictionary, 1976–90, 5 vols. description ends , 1784–90, pp. 335–49).

Index Entries

  • Bank of the United States; and state charter for search
  • Boileau, Nathaniel Britton; secretary of commonwealth of Pa. search
  • Commonwealth (Pittsburgh newspaper) search
  • Hamilton, Paul (1762–1816); secretary of the navy search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Jefferson College (Washington Co., Pa.); students at search
  • Latin; study of search
  • Logan, Andrew; and Bank of the United States search
  • Logan, Andrew; identified search
  • Logan, Andrew; letters from search
  • Logan, Andrew; seeks TJ’s advice search
  • newspapers; Pittsburgh Commonwealth search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh Commonwealth search
  • Pentland, Ephraim; editor of Pittsburgh Commonwealth search
  • schools and colleges; Jefferson College (Pa.) search