Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Glendy to Thomas Jefferson, 28 September 1815

From John Glendy

Charlottesville Septr 28th 1815.

Beloved Sir

I bitterly regret your absence from home, as I promised myself1 on leaving Baltimore a cordial interview with you at Monticello; perhaps, the last oppertunity with which I could hope to be favored by Heaven, whether the thread of my existence may be spun out to a lengthened period, or snapped in a few revolving Moons.

Yesterday, I dined at the peaceful and hospitable board, of President Madison—Great and Just cause has he, to congratulate his Country, and felicitate himself on its Glory and prosperity—The secretary of State and his family connexions were there, on their way to the seat of Government.

Monroe! what moral worth, primitive simplicity, profound intelligence, and undeviating patriotism, center and shine, in that upright, downright Republican?

I am on my way to Staunton, and purpose returning to Baltimore by the way of Charlottesville—were I to Occupy the bench in the Court-House of this town, as an itinerant preacher on sunday week, the 8th day of Octr next, pray, could I have the honor of your sitting under my ministry on the Occasion?

If you could promise me a Congregation on that day (and that the stated pastor would not be jealous) I would pledge myself to deliver a discourse at that period. At all events, I will hazard the appointment; and Deo volente, you may rely on my attendance.

With grateful affection, and devout wishes, for your temporal and eternal felicity, believe me Beloved Sir, faithfully your’s

John Glendy

RC (DLC); dateline beneath signature; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Oct. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Henry Sheaff, 26 Oct. 1815, on verso; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esquire Present.”

John Glendy (1755–1832), a native of Londonderry, Ireland, attended the University of Glasgow and was ordained as a Presbyterian clergyman. Arrested for protesting British policy in Ireland and forced to immigrate to America, he arrived in Norfolk in 1799. Glendy served as a minister for about two years in Staunton and the surrounding area before moving to Baltimore by 1804 to become pastor of the newly formed Second Presbyterian Church, where he remained for the rest of his career. He declined appointments as chaplain of the United States House of Representatives in 1805 and of the Senate in 1816. Glendy moved to Philadelphia to be with family members after 1830 and lived there until his death. TJ met him during his time in Staunton and later praised him as one of the best preachers he had ever heard, a man as “distinguished for his eloquence in the pulpit as for liberality of principles & amiableness of manners” (Sprague, American Pulpit description begins William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 1857–69, 9 vols. description ends , 4:229–37; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 38 vols. description ends , esp. 35:350–1, 36:25–7; Glendy, An Oration, on the death of Lieut. Gen. George Washington [Staunton, 1800]; TJ to Thomas McKean, 3 Mar. 1805 [PHi: McKean Papers]; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 5:188, 198 [4, 13 Dec. 1805]; TJ to James Ogilvie, 21 June 1808 [DLC]; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States description ends , 6:34, 50 [6, 16 Dec. 1816]; DNA: RG 29, CS, Md., Baltimore City, 1830; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 8 Oct. 1832).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; religious services in search
  • Glendy, John; as itinerant preacher search
  • Glendy, John; at Montpellier (Madison family estate) search
  • Glendy, John; identified search
  • Glendy, John; letter from search
  • Glendy, John; on J. Monroe search
  • Glendy, John; proposed visit to Monticello search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); visits Montpellier (Madison family estate) search
  • Monroe, James; praised search
  • Monroe, James; visits Montpellier (Madison family estate) search
  • Montpellier (Montpelier; J. Madison’s Orange Co. estate); visitors to search
  • religion; services search
  • sermons; preached in Charlottesville search