Thomas Jefferson Papers

William DuVal to Thomas Jefferson, 24 February 1814

From William DuVal

Buckingham February 24th 1814

Dear Sir,

My Son John P DuVal obtained his Commission as first Lieutenant he says in Virtue of your Recommendation he is now a Captain in the 20th Regiment. He wishes for a Majority in one of the Three Rifle Regiments. My Son is in his Twenty Fifth Year. He has been in Service about two Years. He first Marched by Orders to Norfolk from thence to Niagara Last Spring he was Ordered to Recruit & has been tolerably successful. He lived in Kentucky at Bardstown about a Year. I believe if he was to receive the Appointment he, with his Brother William P. DuVals assistance, could raise a number of Men so as to complete the new1 Regiment.

Kentucky, if he survives the War, is to be his place of Residence—

I do believe that my Son has seen as much Service as most of the Officers of his Grade. He has devoted2 a part of his time to the Study of Military tacktics, & is well qualified to command a Battallion. He has never I believe applied for a Furlow, since he engaged in the Army. He and Lieut Colo Craughan are of the same Age were Fellow Students at the Coledge of William & Mary & intimate Friends. John P. DuVal possesses great coolness & Intripidity, He is sobor, Moral, and not addicted to any Vice—He writes me to request you to write to the Secretary at War in his behalf, he says he wishes to have an Opportunity to render his Country some essential Service, which with your Assistance will be an additional stimulous, with him, so to act as to deserve the Good opinion you have been3 pleased to entertain of him

Mr James Pleasants of Congress will render him what service he can, my Son writes me

I am with great Esteem & Respect Your mo. obt Servt

William DuVal

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Mar. 1814 and so recorded in SJL.

John Pope DuVal (1790–1854), attorney and public official, was born in Richmond. He attended Washington Academy (later Washington and Lee University) in 1806–07 and the College of William and Mary at some point after that and before he was admitted to the bar in Richmond in 1811. DuVal served in the United States Army during the War of 1812, holding the rank of captain at his discharge in 1815. After the war he practiced law in Fauquier and Loudoun counties. About 1827 DuVal moved to Florida Territory, where in 1828 he was appointed commissioner of Tallahassee. In 1832 he relocated to Bardstown, Kentucky, from which place he raised volunteers as a brigadier general of the Texas forces during the Texas Revolution. DuVal returned to Florida in 1837, served as territorial secretary and sometime acting governor, 1837–39, and oversaw the forced removal of the Apalachicola Indians. He also prepared a compilation of Florida laws. DuVal died in Tallahassee (Lyon Gardiner Tyler, ed., Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography [1915], 2:249; Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1749–1888 [1888], 59; William and Mary Provisional List description begins A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. From 1693 to 1888, 1941 description ends , 16; TJ to William Eustis, 25 Jan. 1812; Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:391; Alexandria Herald, 19 June 1820; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , esp. 23:1006, 25:391, 397–8, 649, 26:825–7; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 5:31, 32 [19, 25 Sept. 1837]; DuVal, Compilation of the Public Acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, passed prior to 1840 [1839]; gravestone in Old City Cemetery, Tallahassee; Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, 9 Dec. 1854).

1Word interlined.

2Manuscript: “doveted.”

3Manuscript: “be.”

Index Entries

  • Croghan, George; alumnus of College of William and Mary search
  • DuVal, John Pope; alumnus of College of William and Mary search
  • DuVal, John Pope; identified search
  • DuVal, John Pope; seeks military appointment search
  • DuVal, William; letters from search
  • DuVal, William; seeks appointment for son search
  • DuVal, William Pope; and military recruitment search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Pleasants, James; as congressman search