Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Fleming to Thomas Jefferson, 12 November 1814

From William Fleming

Richmond 12th November 1814.

Dear sir,

I beg leave to recommend to your notice and good offices, the bearer of this letter, my young friend, mr Colin Clarke, son of colo James Clarke of Powhatan county, with whom you are acquainted:—He is at present a practitioner of the law; but wishes to serve his country, at this crisis, in a military capacity, and solicits, from you, a letter in his favour to the secretary of war.—I have been well acquainted with him from his early infancy, and know him to be a young gentleman of respectable talents, active, and spirited; and of great sobriety & steady habits.—The principles of his whole family are truly republican.

I have the honour to be, dear sir,

Your respectful friend & obedt servant

Wm Fleming.

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 4 (reworked from 3) Dec. 1814. Recorded in SJL as received 3 (reworked from 4) Dec. 1814.

Colin Clarke (1792–1865), attorney and plantation owner, studied at James Ogilvie’s school near Milton, attended the College of William and Mary in 1811, and later served on the latter institution’s board of visitors. He did not receive a military appointment at this time. Clarke represented his native Powhatan County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1816–19, and sat for Chesterfield County, 1826–28. He moved to Chesterfield County by 1820, and in 1834 he purchased an estate in Gloucester County, where he lived thereafter. In 1860 Clarke owned real estate worth $35,000 and personal property valued at $55,400, including eighty-one slaves (G. Brown Goode, Virginia Cousins: A Study of the Ancestry and Posterity of John Goode of Whitby [1887], 229–30; Vi: Clarke Family Papers; Ogilvie to TJ, Nov. [1814]; 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 , 13, 52; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 287, 291, 295, 333, 338; DNA: RG 29, CS, Chesterfield Co., 1820, Richmond, 1830, Gloucester Co., 1860; L. Roane Hunt, ed., Death Records of Gloucester County, Virginia 1865–1890 [2000], 30; Gloucester Co. Will Book, A:16–7).

Index Entries

  • Clarke, Colin; desires military commission search
  • Clarke, Colin; identified search
  • Clarke, Colin; introduced to TJ search
  • Clarke, James (of Powhatan Co.); family of search
  • Fleming, William; introduces C. Clarke search
  • Fleming, William; letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search