Thomas Jefferson Papers

John C. Calhoun to Thomas Jefferson, 13 January 1818

From John C. Calhoun

War Dept 13th Jan. 1818


I have examined the case of Mr Poirey; and find that the report of Mr McHenry (which I transmit) contains all of the information in relation to it, to be found in this office. Among the papers of Mr Poirey, which you transmitted to me, is a petition to Congress, which I have put into the hands of Mr Lowndes, to be presented. It appears to me that his claim is a just one; and that Congress will probably grant him the relief prayed for. I will retain his papers till his case is acted on. Every care will be taken of them.

I avail myself of this Occasion to express the high esteem and veneration, which I entertain for your publick services and private character. It is my Sincere wish, that you may long continue in the full possession of your health and faculties to enjoy the gratitude of the nation.

I am with esteem & respect &c

J. C. Calhoun

RC (DLC); adjacent to closing and signature: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Jan. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Report of Secretary of War James McHenry on the petition of Joseph Léonard Poirey, War Department, 5 Apr. 1796, stating that, although Poirey had apparently served as a secretary and aide-de-camp to Lafayette during the Revolutionary War, he had never been paid for his military service; noting that in “imitation of his general, and from a movement of disinterestedness, he waived his demand for pay, when it might have been obtained, and only recurred to it when misfortune and distress seem to have rendered the application a duty”; and admitting that, under a strict construction of the law, Poirey was not entitled to compensation, but wondering whether “the informality of the petitioner’s waiver” and his residence overseas might not “open the way for a decision grounded upon the original justness of his claim” (ASP, Claims, 1:133).

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; and Lafayette search
  • Calhoun, John Caldwell; and J. L. Poirey’s military service claims search
  • Calhoun, John Caldwell; letters from search
  • Congress, U.S.; petitions to search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; and J. L. Poirey’s military service claims search
  • Lowndes, William; and J. L. Poirey’s military service claims search
  • McHenry, James; and J. L. Poirey’s military service claims search
  • Poirey, Joseph Léonard; seeks compensation search
  • Revolutionary War; compensation claims search