Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Burke to Thomas Jefferson, 7 November 1816

From John Burke

Richmond, November 7h 1816

Having suspended the publication of the “Virginia Argus” it becomes necessary for me, to call upon those indebted to the Establishment, for payment.

Accompanying this, you have your account stated—Being desirous to close my business, you will much oblige me by remitting the amount by mail, or if more convenient, by some private conveyance.

I am, very respectfully your obdt. servt.

Jno. Burke.

RC (MHi); printed circular, with portions filled in by Burke rendered in boldface above; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 19 Oct. 1816 received 21 Nov. 1816 and so recorded in SJL; with enclosure subjoined. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Robert Rives, 27 Nov. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Milton Va”; stamped; postmarked Richmond, 9 Nov. Enclosure: Burke’s Account with TJ, Richmond, 19 Oct. 1816, charging him $6.25 for his “Subscription to the Va Argus, from 25h March 1815, to 19h Octr 1816, @ $4 pr Annum” (printed form in MHi; with blanks filled in by Burke, including the phrase quoted here).

John Burke, printer and journalist, worked in Richmond at the printing office of Samuel Pleasants and also saw service during the War of 1812. In partnership with Philip DuVal, he purchased the Virginia Argus from the Pleasants estate by mid-February 1815. Shortly thereafter DuVal left the firm. In February 1816 Burke formed a partnership with Louis H. Girardin, who remained with him at the Argus until its demise in October of that year. Burke also established a separate printing shop by the spring of 1815 and conducted it until January 1817 with a series of business associates: Arthur G. Booker, DuVal, and lastly, his own brother David Burke. Neither venture prospered, and by early in 1821 Burke had left both the United States and his creditors behind (A. Paull Hubbard Jr., “Notes on the Book Trade in Richmond, Virginia, together with a Preliminary Checklist of Richmond, Virginia, Imprints: 1780–1860” [1987], fascicle 1; Hugh Nelson to an unidentified correspondent, 12 Dec. 1816 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17]; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1143; Norfolk American Beacon and Commercial Diary, 24 Oct. 1816; Richmond Enquirer, 3 May 1822).

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  • Burke, John; andVirginia Argus search
  • Burke, John; identified search
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  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; and newspaper subscriptions search
  • newspapers; RichmondVirginia Argus search
  • newspapers; subscriptions to, by TJ search
  • Richmond, Va.; Argus search
  • subscriptions, for publications; newspapers search
  • Virginia Argus (Richmond newspaper); TJ’s subscription to search