Thomas Jefferson Papers

Elizabeth Ticknor to Thomas Jefferson, 10 September 1816

From Elizabeth Ticknor

September 10th 1816.

Your favour Sir, of the 15–16th of August was received yesterday.—My husband being an overseer of the University, in which he was educated, is now absent on business for that institution, but, in all probability will return before the arival of the books.—If he does not, I have a friend, who will address them according to your order, and take every possible care, that they are safely sent on to Richmond.—It is with pleasure Sir that I inform you of the receipt of your letter, as its contents are of consequence to you, and as it affords me an opertunity of making a gratefull acknowledgment of the benevolent and friendly favours you shew our son, while he was under your hospitable roof.—Be assured Sir they were felt, sensibly felt, by Mr Ticknor and myself, as well as by our son.

He was well, the 30th of June, and desired an affectionate rememberance to all, who mentioned his name.

Therefore, be so good as to accept it from him, by the hand of his mother, who with due consideration and esteem, has the honor of subscribing herself

your much obliged, and very humble servant

Elizabeth Ticknor

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Sept. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Charles Willson Peale, 24 Dec. 1816, on recto and verso; addressed: “Honorable Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; franked; postmarked Boston, 11 Sept.

Elizabeth Billings Curtis Ticknor (1753–1818) was born in Sharon, Massachusetts, where she worked as a schoolteacher. During the Revolutionary War she married Benjamin Curtis, a physician, and had four children with him prior to his death in Boston in 1784. She then resumed her former career and continued it for a time even after her marriage in 1790 to Elisha Ticknor. Her only child by her second marriage was George Ticknor (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends , 9:524; George S. Hillard, ed., Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor [1876], 1:3–4; Boston Massachusetts Centinel, 27 Nov. 1784; Boston Daily Advertiser, 28 Jan. 1819).

TJ’s favour of 15 Aug. 1816 was addressed to Elisha Ticknor. He had recently been named an overseer of his alma mater under New Hampshire statutes of 1816 that superseded the charter of 1769, asserted state control, created new officers, and renamed Dartmouth College as a university. The United States Supreme Court struck down the acts in 1819 in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (Hanover, N.H., American, 10 July 1816; Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 8:217–39).

Index Entries

  • Dartmouth College; governance of search
  • Dartmouth College; overseers of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Ticknor, George search
  • schools and colleges; Dartmouth College search
  • Ticknor, Elisha; and G. Ticknor’s travels search
  • Ticknor, Elisha; as overseer of Dartmouth College search
  • Ticknor, Elisha; G. Ticknor sends books to search
  • Ticknor, Elizabeth Billings Curtis (Elisha Ticknor’s wife); and books for TJ search
  • Ticknor, Elizabeth Billings Curtis (Elisha Ticknor’s wife); identified search
  • Ticknor, Elizabeth Billings Curtis (Elisha Ticknor’s wife); letter from search
  • Ticknor, Elizabeth Billings Curtis (Elisha Ticknor’s wife); thanks TJ search
  • Ticknor, George; and books for TJ search
  • Ticknor, George; health of search
  • Ticknor, George; visits Monticello search
  • women; letters from; E. Ticknor search