From David Ramsay
Charleston Decr 3d 1813
The bearer Sir Egerton Leigh is the nephew of my father in law Henry Laurens. Though nominally an Alien he is a native of South Carolina from which he was taken by his father to England when in his infancy & before the revolution. You will find him a Gentleman & well informed on the subjects on which you delight to converse. He is a citizen of the world & his Philanthropy embraces the whole human family. His fortune rank & education entitle him to notice in every place but being an unknown Alien I have taken the liberty of informing you who he is & requesting your civilities to him. With my best wishes for your health & happiness I am with great respect sincerly yours
RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson late President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Jan. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Sir Egerton Leigh to TJ, 19 Dec. 1813.
David Ramsay (1749–1815), physician, public official, and historian, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. degree from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1765 and an M.B. degree from the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Pennsylvania) in 1773. After moving by 1774 to Charleston, South Carolina, Ramsay established a flourishing medical practice and entered politics. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, 1776–80 and 1782–90, sat in the Confederation Congress, 1782–83 and 1785–86, and was president of the South Carolina Senate, 1791–97. In 1787 he married Martha Laurens, the daughter of Continental Congress president Henry Laurens. In politics Ramsay proved to be a moderate Federalist. He backed the new United States Constitution at the 1788 state ratification convention and supported a stronger central government and John Adams’s presidential aspirations, but he opposed the Jay Treaty. Ramsay achieved his greatest fame through his widely disseminated historical writings, which included a History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, 2 vols. (Trenton, N.J., 1785; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 488; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 4 [no. 135]), The History of the American Revolution, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1789; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 490), The Life of George Washington (New York, 1807; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 511), History of the United States, 3 vols. (Philadelphia, 1816–17), and Universal History Americanised, 9 vols. (Philadelphia, 1819). At Ramsay’s request, TJ arranged during his diplomatic service in France for the translation and publication of a French edition (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 489) of the History of the Revolution of South-Carolina. Ramsay was fatally shot by a deranged former patient (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Princetonians description begins James McLachlan and others, eds., Princetonians: A Biographical Dictionary, 1976–90, 5 vols. description ends , 1748–68, pp. 517–21; N. Louise Bailey and others, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate, 1776–1985 , 2:1330–4; Robert L. Brunhouse, ed., “David Ramsay, 1749–1815: Selections From His Writings,” APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Transactions, new ser., 55, pt. 4 ; Arthur H. Shaffer, To Be an American: David Ramsay and the Making of the American Consciousness ; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , 8:210–1; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 3474; Charleston City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 9 May 1815).
- Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
- Laurens, Henry; family of search
- Leigh, Sir Egerton (1733–1781); family of search
- Leigh, Sir Egerton (1762–1818); introduced by D. Ramsay search
- Ramsay, David; identified search
- Ramsay, David; introduces E. Leigh search
- Ramsay, David; letters from search