Thomas Jefferson Papers

Leonard Sargent to Thomas Jefferson, 1 November 1814

From Leonard Sargent

Manchester (Vermont) 1st Nov 1814


Since the publication [of]1 your Letter of the 21st Sept last to the Hone S. H. Smith relative to the disposal of your Library: it has become a theme of much conversation in this part of our Country of what this vast number of Books can consist; Could you Sir without much inconvenience to yourself forward to this place a Catalogue of sd Library you would not only confer a great favor on many citizens in this quarter[,] but it would Doubtless be of material service to the Heads of our Literary Institutions in assisting them to make proper selections for their use

I am Sir with high Consideration your obt Svt

Leonard Sargent

RC (DLC); mutilated at seal; addressed: “Hone Thos Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; franked; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Nov. 1814 and so recorded in SJL, which mistakenly describes it as a letter of 14 Nov. 1814.

Leonard Sargent (1793–1880), attorney and public official, was a native of Dorset, Vermont. He trained as a lawyer and worked briefly in Pawlet before relocating his practice to Manchester. His account of an 1819 murder case in which he was involved was used by the British novelist Wilkie Collins as the basis for his 1874 tale The Dead Alive. During his long legal career, Sargent served at various times as a postmaster, justice of the peace, state attorney, member of both houses of the Vermont legislature, probate judge and, for many years, on the council of censors. Beginning politically as a Republican, he was a Whig when he served as lieutenant governor, 1846–48. Sargent died at the home of his daughter in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (John S. Sargent and Aaron Sargent, Sargent Genealogy [1895], 69; Hiel Hollister, Pawlet for One Hundred Years [1867], 102; Leonard Sargent, The Trial, Confessions and Conviction of Jesse and Stephen Boorn, for the murder of Russell Colvin, and the return of the man supposed to have been murdered [1873]; Wilkie Collins, The Dead Alive [1874], 157; Burlington Northern Sentinel, 3 Sept. 1819; Bennington Vermont Gazette, 30 Jan. 1821, 15 Dec. 1829; Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Vermont [1836], 3; New London, Ct., Morning News, 16 July 1847; Edward Conant, Vermont Historical Reader [1907], 166; Montpelier Vermont Patriot & State Gazette, 29 Sept. 1854; Journal of the Council of Censors of the State of Vermont [1862], 3, 4; Marcus D. Gilman, The Bibliography of Vermont [1897], 242).

1Omitted word editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; TJ’s personal search
  • Library of Congress; TJ’s catalogue of books sold to search
  • Sargent, Leonard; identified search
  • Sargent, Leonard; letter from search
  • Sargent, Leonard; requests catalogue of TJ’s books search
  • Smith, Samuel Harrison; and sale of TJ’s library to Congress search
  • Vermont; interest in TJ’s library in search