Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Clark to Thomas Jefferson, 1 February 1817

From William Clark

St Louis Feby 1st 1817.

Dear Sir

I have taken the liberty of inclosing under cover to you, a letter to Mrs Marks, and a Copy of a letter and statement of the publication of Lewis & Clarks Journal &c from Mr N. Biddle, which I latterly received,

The population of this Territory is rapidly increasing and very widely extending itself, The Lands on the Missouri having greatly the advantage as respects fertility of soil & health, draws the greatest emigration in that direction

For the last three or four years, party spirit appeared to have almost subsided, but laterly it has been revived, and increases, by the aid of the old partizans

Accept of my best wishes for your health & happiness,   with the highest respect

I have the honor to be your Ob. Hbl Servt

RC (MHi); in Clark’s hand, unsigned; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Anon. (? Gl Wm Clarke)” received 15 Mar. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Nicholas Biddle to Clark, Andalusia, near Philadelphia, 21 Oct. 1816, advising Clark to agree to a proposal whereby he would relinquish to the assignees of the insolvent printing partnership of Bradford & Inskeep his claim on the books in press but retain the copyright and control of the copperplates used in printing; embedding the text of Biddle to Charles Chauncey, Andalusia, 25 June 1816, outlining for Clark’s legal counsel the account supplied by the assignees of Bradford & Inskeep, concluding that the profit owed to Clark is $395.93, suggesting that the debts due to the work are “unpromising,” and advancing the plan described above; also including the text of Thomas Astley to Chauncey, Philadelphia, 18 Sept. 1816, reiterating as an assignee of Bradford & Inskeep the accounting supplied by Biddle, correcting errors, concluding that Clark is owed $170.18½, agreeing to pay the debts due in connection with the work and release the copyright and copperplates to Clark, estimating their value as $600–700, and stipulating that no new edition is to appear for at least six months (Tr in ViU: Lewis-Marks Papers [microfilm; originals privately held]; FC in DLC: Biddle Papers, with placeholders for the two embedded letters; FC of Biddle-Chauncey letter and RC of Astley-Chauncey letter in NjP: Biddle Collection; printed as separate letters in Donald Jackson, ed., Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents [2d ed., 1978], 2:615–7, 621–3, 627).

The enclosed letter from Clark to Lucy marks, the mother of Meriwether Lewis, has not been found.

Index Entries

  • Astley, Thomas; and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; and Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Bradford & Inskeep (Philadelphia firm); and history of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Chauncey, Charles; and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; and letter for L. Marks search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; as governor of Missouri Territory search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; letter from search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; journals of search
  • Marks, Lucy Meriwether Lewis (Meriwether Lewis’s mother); and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Marks, Lucy Meriwether Lewis (Meriwether Lewis’s mother); TJ forwards letter to search
  • Missouri Territory; W. Clark on search