Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Marx to Thomas Jefferson, 8 December 1817

From Joseph Marx

Richmond 8th December 1817


I recently recieved a Consignment of Cloths shipped by Mr Richard Flower, of Marden, England, for account of his Brother Mr George Flower, who has the honor of being known to You, that Gentleman lately embarked for Europe, his absence caused the letter from his Brother to be placed in my hands, who therein says “You will recieve 2½ Yards of my best Cloth, which You will present if You please to Mr Jefferson, as a small token of my Esteem & Gratitude, for his kindness to You”

In compliance therefore with that Gentlemans wishes, and in the hope, that the mode he has adopted, of evincing his Gratitude, and the high Respect he entertains for Your Character, will not be viewed as taking too great a liberty, I have forwarded the parcel, and avail myself of the occasion, to subscribe myself with the highest Respect

sir Your most Obt sevt

Joseph Marx

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Dec. 1817 and so recorded (with surname misspelled “Markx”) in SJL.

Joseph Marx (ca. 1771–1840), merchant and financier, was a native of Hannover, Germany, who immigrated to Richmond by 1791. In 1796 he operated a mercantile business in Manchester, and he went on to become a prominent merchant, land investor, and leader of the Jewish community in Richmond. Marx was named a director of the Farmers’ Bank of Virginia in 1812, a director of the Marine Insurance Company of Richmond the following year, and a director of the Richmond branch of the Second Bank of the United States in 1819. In this latter capacity Marx corresponded regularly with TJ, particularly concerning the bonds of Wilson Cary Nicholas. He died in Richmond (Herbert T. Ezekiel and Gaston Lichtenstein, The History of the Jews of Richmond from 1769 to 1917 [1917], esp. 47–8, 303; Jacob Rader Marcus, United States Jewry 1776–1985 [1989], esp. 1:149–50, 171; Myron Berman, Richmond’s Jewry, 1769–1976: Shabbat in Shockoe [1979], esp. 70–2; Richmond Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser, 21 Dec. 1796; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 41 vols. description ends , 29:119; Norfolk Gazette and Publick Ledger, 7 Aug. 1812, 17 Mar. 1813; Richmond Enquirer, 27 Feb. 1819, 14 July 1840; TJ to Marx, 24 Aug. 1819; Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser, 17 July 1840).

richard flower was the father, not brother, of George Flower (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries

  • Flower, George; family of search
  • Flower, Richard; sends cloth to TJ search
  • Marx, Joseph; forwards cloth to TJ search
  • Marx, Joseph; identified search
  • Marx, Joseph; letters from search
  • textiles; manufacturing search