Thomas Jefferson Papers

Peter H. Wendover to Thomas Jefferson, 30 January 1815

From Peter H. Wendover

New York January 30th 1815

Respected Sir

Permit me to apologize to you for what might by some be deemed an intrusion, while I venture to solicit your friendly reception of a small volume, the contents of which I recently heard from the pulpit, and which sentiments I consider of great importance to our beloved Country, particularly at this momentous Crisis—

The author though an adopted Citizen, I esteem as one of the best friends of mankind; a zealous advocate for the Liberties of the United States; and a firm supporter of Republican Institutions—he is acknowledged to be a man of sound mind and great abilities—

Should you disapprove of the liberty I have taken in troubling you with it, I only have to plead that nothing but the great esteem in which I hold the name, and virtues of a Jefferson could have prompted me to it—

With my best wishes for your personal Health, and Happiness, I have the Honor to be Sir your very Humb Servt

Pr H: Wendover

RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); in an unidentified hand, signed by Wendover; dateline adjacent to signature; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Feb. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Alexander McLeod, A Scriptural View of the Character, Causes, and Ends of the Present War (New York, 1815; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 9 [no. 536]).

Peter Hercules Wendover (1768–1834), sailmaker and public official, held several local offices in New York City and was a delegate to the state constitutional conventions of 1801 and 1821. He served in the New York legislature in 1804 and in the United States House of Representatives, 1815–21, where he led a successful effort to alter the nation’s flag to its current design of thirteen stripes and a star for each state. Wendover was also sheriff of New York County for four years during the 1820s, a founder of the American Colonization Society, and a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. He died at his home in Greenwich, New York (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, 1989 description ends ; History of the School of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church in the City of New York from 1633 to 1883, 2d ed. [1883], 101; Charles Z. Lincoln, The Constitutional History of New York [1906], 1:609, 631; Edgar L. Murlin, The New York Red Book [1913], 393; Marc Leepson, Flag: An American Biography [2005], 77–83; Henry Noble Sherwood, “The Formation of the American Colonization Society,” Journal of Negro History 2 [1917]: 227; New York Daily Advertiser, 10 Sept. 1791; New York Evening Post, 24 Sept. 1834).

The author of the enclosed defense of the administration’s war policy, an adopted citizen who had emigrated from the Scottish island of Mull in 1792, was pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church in New York City (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries

  • A Scriptural View of the Character, Causes, and Ends of the Present War (A. McLeod) search
  • books; on War of1812 search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • McLeod, Alexander; A Scriptural View of the Character, Causes, and Ends of the Present War search
  • McLeod, Alexander; Presbyterian clergyman search
  • sermons; sent to TJ search
  • War of1812; A Scriptural View of the Character, Causes, and Ends of the Present War (A. McLeod) search
  • Wendover, Peter Hercules; identified search
  • Wendover, Peter Hercules; letter from search
  • Wendover, Peter Hercules; on A. McLeod search
  • Wendover, Peter Hercules; sends book to TJ search