Thomas Jefferson Papers

DeWitt Clinton to Thomas Jefferson, 6 April 1815

From DeWitt Clinton

New York 6 April 1815

Dear Sir

Knowing the deep interest you take in the promotion of useful knowledge, I enclose a circular letter and Report of our Literary & Philosophical1 Society, formed and distributed in order to obtain an accurate statistical account of this State. Similar attempts, if crowned with success, in other places, would greatly tend to advance the prosperity of our Country.

Under an impression that you will not consider it improper in me to propose you as an honorary member of that Society, I shall take the liberty of doing it at their next meeting: It will, I am persuaded, be received by all the members with the highest satisfaction.

It will be often in my power to transmit to you new publications without the least inconvenience to myself and which I should do with pleasure, but I am not certain whether your priveleges at the post-office extend to cases of this Nature

With great respect I am Your most Obedt servt

DeWitt Clinton

RC (DLC); adjacent to closing: “T. Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 Apr. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in NNC: Clinton Papers); in Clinton’s hand; lacks closing and signature. Enclosure: Circular Letter of the Literary and Philosophical Society, of New-York; on the Subject of a Statistical Account of the State of New-York (New York, 1815; signed by Clinton as society president), asking selected residents of every town and county in the state to provide data on the subjects suggested in twenty-eight categories, plus any miscellaneous information not otherwise requested and “Specimens of Minerals, and other subjects of Natural History.”

TJ was duly selected as an honorary member (Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York, Transactions [1815]: xvi). He received franking priveleges for mail sent him “after the expiration of his term of office and during his life” under “An Act freeing from postage all letters and packets to Thomas Jefferson” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 2:526 [28 Feb. 1809]).

1RC: “L. & P.” FC: “Literary & Philosophical.”

Index Entries

  • Circular Letter of the Literary and Philosophical Society, of New-York (D. Clinton) search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; and Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; Circular Letter of the Literary and Philosophical Society, of New-York search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; letters from search
  • franking privilege; of TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; franking privilege search
  • Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York; and D. Clinton search
  • Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York; TJ elected a member of search