Thomas Jefferson Papers

George P. Stevenson to Thomas Jefferson, 2 March 1813

From George P. Stevenson

Baltimore March 2nd 1813—

I beg leave to enclose the important information received here to day—& remain

Yrs truly

Geo: P: Stevenson

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Mar. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

George Pitt Stevenson (1791–1819), merchant, was a Baltimore native who lived for a time at Carr’s-brook plantation in Albemarle County after Peter Carr (TJ’s nephew) married his widowed mother Hetty Smith Stevenson in 1797. He was educated in his stepfather’s home by a private tutor and at a boarding school in Warren in Albemarle County. Stevenson received his early mercantile training in the countinghouse of his uncle Samuel Smith, a Baltimore merchant and congressman. He then opened the commission business of Stevenson & Goodwin in partnership with his brother-in-law Thomas Parkin Goodwin. During the War of 1812 Stevenson served in the militia and was an aide to Brigadier General John Stricker during the Battle of North Point, 12 Sept. 1814. Stevenson’s firm engaged in unsuccessful privateering during the war and overextended itself afterward. When the partnership was dissolved in 1816, Stevenson owed his creditors $254,969.86. After the bankruptcy TJ continued to hold him in high esteem and was among those whose recommendation led to his appointment in 1817 as United States commercial agent at Havana, where he had formed commercial connections. Stevenson died at Havana of yellow fever and was buried in Baltimore’s Westminster Cemetery (ViU: Carr-Cary Papers; Elizabeth Dabney Coleman, “Peter Carr of Carr’s-Brook [1770–1815],” MACH description begins Magazine of Albemarle County History, 1940–  (title varies: issued until 1951 as Papers of the Albemarle County Historical Society) description ends 4 [1943/44]: 15; Carr’s will, 14 Jan. 1815, ViU: TJP-CC and Albemarle Co. Will Book, 6:129–30; “The Goodwins of Baltimore, Maryland,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892–  description ends , 1st ser., 8 [1899]: 110, 111; Jerome R. Garitee, The Republic’s Private Navy: The American Privateering Business as practiced by Baltimore during the War of 1812 [1977], esp. 231–2; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Naval Affairs, 1:300; New-York Evening Post, 5 Nov. 1816; Stevenson to TJ, 16 Oct., 17 Nov. 1817; Samuel Smith to John Quincy Adams and to William H. Crawford, both 19 Oct. 1817, Wilson C. Nicholas to Adams, 20 Oct. 1817, and Felipe A. Canes to Adams, 10 June 1819 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25]; TJ to James Monroe, 30 Oct. 1817; Richmond Enquirer, 6 July 1819; Mary Ellen Hayward and R. Kent Lancaster, Baltimore’s Westminster Cemetery & Westminster Presbyterian Church: A Guide to the Markers and Burials, 1775–1943 [1984], 36).

Index Entries

  • Carr, Hetty Smith Stevenson (Peter Carr’s wife); family of search
  • Carr, Peter (TJ’s nephew); family of search
  • Goodwin, Thomas Parkin search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); family of search
  • Stevenson, George Pitt; identified search
  • Stevenson, George Pitt; letters from search
  • Stevenson, George Pitt; relays latest information to TJ search