Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Logan to Thomas Jefferson, 16 August 1815

From George Logan

Stenton Augt 16th: 1815

Dear Sir

Looking over some private papers a few days since, I found a communication from Dr Priestley to me, respecting the education and character of the Emperor of Russia. I herewith inclose you a copy of this interesting document; from a conviction of its being agreeable, on account of your known attachment to the most virtuous and magnanimous of monarchs

Mrs Logan unites with me in sentiments of respect to yourself and family—

Accept assurances of my friendship

Geo Logan

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Oct. 1815 and so recorded in SJL.

Although Logan described it as a communication from Joseph Priestley to himself, the enclosure seems to have been part of a letter from an unidentified correspondent to Priestley, describing Alexander I as “a sort of Phenomenon in the political world”; acknowledging that the author knows the Russian emperor indirectly through Frédéric César de La Harpe, who educated Alexander “from the Age of eight years, to the time of his marriage” and from whom Alexander received a “thoroughly Republican education”; quoting an undated letter from Alexander to La Harpe in which the emperor expresses his desire to reduce “to practice the lessons you have Taught” and become “an instrument of the happiness and liberty of this hitherto ill instructed and ill governed People”; revealing that Alexander has invited La Harpe to return and advise him and that his ukases on liberty of the press and the abolition of slavery show that he has already begun his reforms; and reporting that the author and La Harpe have collaborated to produce a “code to reform as moderate as Republicans could well make” (Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 208:37017–9; in an unidentified hand; undated; at head of text: “Extract of a Letter from ______ to Dr Priestley, received by him a short time before his Death” [which occurred on 6 Feb. 1804]).

Index Entries

  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; education of search
  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; political views of search
  • education; of Alexander I search
  • La Harpe, Frédéric César de; tutor of Alexander I search
  • Logan, Deborah Norris (George Logan’s wife); sends greetings to TJ search
  • Logan, George; and Alexander I’s education and character search
  • Logan, George; and J. Priestley’s correspondence search
  • Logan, George; letters from search
  • Priestley, Joseph; and Alexander I search
  • Priestley, Joseph; correspondence with G. Logan search