Thomas Jefferson Papers

Peter Jefferson Archer to Thomas Jefferson, 8 February 1818

From Peter Jefferson Archer

Petersburg February 8th 1818

Dear Uncle

Having generaly understood, it to have been your wish at a very early period of my existance to have Supertended my education—I now take the liberty of Soliciting your patronage—Having a disposition to continue my studies in order to complete1 my hitherto unfinished education beleiving that under the care of so distinguished a personage—I may derive such information that may enhance my future prospects & enable me to become a useful member in society; believing you are still interested in my welfare; I presume to go thus far—waiting the receipt of a letter from you by which I mean to govern my next proceedings

I Remain Your Most obt Servt

Peter Jefferson Archer

RC (Mrs. John Armistead, Wilmington, Del., 1944); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Nathaniel Bowditch, 11 Apr. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Former Precident of the United States Sharlottsville Albermale Virginia (pr Mail)”; stamp canceled; franked; postmarked (faint) Petersburg, [11?] Feb.

Peter Jefferson Archer (1798–1871), farmer, merchant, and grandnephew of TJ through his sister Mary Jefferson Bolling, lived until at least 1832 in Powhatan County, where he possessed fifteen slaves. In that year he was a political supporter of Andrew Jackson. By 1840 he resided in Goochland County and owned thirty-one slaves. Archer moved to Richmond by the mid-1850s and there spent the rest of his life as a commission merchant. His personal estate was valued at $2,000 shortly before his death at the Powhatan County home of one of his children (Archer family Bible record, 1798–1867 [Vi]; Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families [1907; repr. 1976], 4:309–10, 320; DNA: RG 29, CS, Powhatan Co., 1830, Goochland Co., 1840, Henrico Co., 1870; Richmond Enquirer, 23 Oct. 1832; Butters’ Richmond Directory for 1855 [1855], 19; M. Ellyson, The Richmond Directory and Business Advertiser, for 1856 [1856], 53; Richmond Daily State Journal, 6 May 1871).

1Manuscript: “comple.”

Index Entries

  • Archer, Peter Jefferson (TJ’s grandnephew); education of search
  • Archer, Peter Jefferson (TJ’s grandnephew); identified search
  • Archer, Peter Jefferson (TJ’s grandnephew); letter from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search