To Sarah Bowdoin (Dearborn)
Monticello June 24. 12.
Th: Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to Mrs Bowdoin, and his thanks for the book she has been so kind as to forward him. it is an interesting present to the American public, who owed so much before to the patriotism of it’s author, and to his steady views & efforts for the promotion of their best interests. with the public gratitude, he is peculiarly bound to mingle his own, for the aid and support he recieved from him personally in administering the affairs of their common country. of this he knows no depository to whom it may be committed with so much propriety as to mrs Bowdoin,while he tenders to herself the homage of his high respect and consideration.
PoC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ. Printed in William Jenks, An Eulogy, illustrative of the life, and commemorative of the beneficence of the late Hon. James Bowdoin, Esquire (Boston, 1812; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 524), 40.
Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn (1762–1826) married her cousin James Bowdoin in 1780. TJ appointed him minister plenipotentiary to Spain in 1804 and instructed him to negotiate a treaty with that country. The Bowdoins never reached Madrid but remained in Europe until he resigned in 1808, in part due to his chronic ill health. He died on 11 Oct. 1811. Two years later Sarah Bowdoin married Henry Dearborn, with whom she made a second trip to Europe in 1822–24 when he was minister plenipotentiary to Portugal. She devoted much of her life to poor relief and missionary efforts, served in 1803 as a founding officer of the Boston Female Asylum, and left bequests to that and other charities, as well as funds to establish a French professorship at Bowdoin College (Thaddeus Mason Harris, A Tribute of Respect to the memory of Mrs. Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn [Boston, 1826], esp. 21–2; Boston New-England Palladium, 26 Apr. 1803; Sarah Bowdoin Diary, 1806–08 [MeB: Bowdoin Family Collection]; Newburyport [Mass.] Herald, and Country Gazette, 12 Nov. 1813; Boston Columbian Centinel, 27 May 1826).
The book was James Bowdoin’s translation of Louis Jean Marie Daubenton, Advice to Shepherds and Owners of Flocks, on the Care and Management of Sheep, 2d ed. with plates added (Boston, 1811; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 794; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library  description ends , 6 [no. 263]; with inscription on flyleaf of presentation copy in private hands in the 1940s: “President Jefferson with Mrs Bowdoin’s respectful Compliments. 24 May 1812”). Mrs. Bowdoin also sent copies to John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe (Jenks, Eulogy, 39–40; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols. Congress. Ser., 17 vols. Pres. Ser., 6 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 4:453–4).
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