Thomas Jefferson Papers

Charles Christian to Thomas Jefferson, 10 March 1812

From Charles Christian

Police office, New York 10th March 1812

Respected Sir,

I beg leave to offer the enclosed for your patronage. Nothing is left after discharging the demands on Mr Cheetham’s estate for his children. your name Sir woud be a host and a passport to the benevolence of the Republicans of this City, It would prevent the Sins of the father being visited on the children, for however, unfortunately, a concurrence of circumstances, and strong passions, impelled Mr Cheetham as a Public writer into error, he was in heart a Republican and an admirer of your virtues.

All whom I have yet solicited have contributed, and it has but this moment occurred to me that I ought in the first instance to have submitted the subscription to you. Were you yet at the head of the Government, I Should not have obtruded this request, and were you Sir, not Mr Jefferson I should not have ventured it at all.

However, Sir, you may be pleased to view this request, made in behalf of five orphans, I beg the favor of a return of the enclosed.

With the highest respect and veneration, I have the honor, Sir, to remain your Obedt and very humble Servant

Charles Christian

RC (MHi); dateline beneath signature; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Mar. 1812 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Charles Christian (d. 1829), cabinetmaker and auctioneer, emigrated by 1798 from Great Britain to New York City, where he served intermittently as a police justice and justice of the peace from approximately 1810 until about 1821. He rose in the state militia from lieutenant in 1803 to brigadier general in 1820 (Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory. New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1798]; [1829], 143; Kenneth Scott, Early New York Naturalizations: Abstracts of naturalization records from federal, state, and local courts, 1792–1840 [1981], 19; New York Morning Chronicle, 6 Apr. 1803; New York Commercial Advertiser, 3 Mar. 1810; New York Columbian, 13 Jan. 1813; New York Statesman, 17 June 1813; New-York Evening Post, 2 May 1821, 13 Aug. 1829; Hugh Hastings and Henry Harmon Noble, eds., Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783–1821 [1901–02], esp. 1:666, 3:2203).

James cheetham, a prominent New York City newspaper editor, died in 1810, followed a year later by his wife, Rachel Cheetham. He had strongly supported TJ’s election to the presidency but eventually joined DeWitt Clinton in opposing the national administration (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; New York American Citizen, 20 Sept. 1810; Albany Balance, & State Journal, 1 Jan. 1811; New-York Weekly Museum, 5 Oct. 1811; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 3:375).

Index Entries

  • charity; requests to TJ for search
  • Cheetham, James; charity sought for heirs of search
  • Cheetham, Rachel (James Cheetham’s wife); death of search
  • Christian, Charles; identified search
  • Christian, Charles; letters from search
  • Christian, Charles; solicits charity for Cheetham heirs search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; Federalist supporters of search
  • New York (state); Republicans in search
  • Republican party; in N.Y. search