Thomas Jefferson Papers

William S. Murphy to Thomas Jefferson, 6 November 1818

From William S. Murphy

Ohio. Chillicothe 6th November 1818

Respd sir

Ever since the establishment of the Bank of the U.S, I have diligently enquired, wherever I could obtain information of its constitutionality—Yet I have not, and I believe I cannot satisfy my mind. Therefore, I take the liberty to request your Opinion.

sir I am a young man—& have just commenced the practice of Law in this place—I read with A Stevenson Esqr in Richmond Va & have Seen you there—I hope you will gratify me with an answer—I am in search of truth—& on this important question I desire much the advice of one on whom I look as on a father

Accept Sir this assurance of my esteem & Respect

William S Murphy

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 23 Nov. 1818 and so recorded (mistakenly described as from Cincinnati) in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Jerman Baker, 14 May 1819, on verso; addressed (one word illegible): “Thomas Jefferson Esqr [. . .] presd of U. States—Montescello—Virginia”; franked; postmarked Chillicothe, 7 Nov.

William Sumter Murphy (d. 1844), attorney and public official, was born in South Carolina, read for the bar in Richmond, and moved in 1818 to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he practiced law. He also attained the rank of brigadier general in the Ohio militia. In 1841, at the request of President John Tyler, Murphy became a special agent of the United States to the already defunct Central American Confederation. He arrived in Guatemala City late in 1841 and gathered information on political and economic affairs in the region through the following year. In 1843 Tyler gave Murphy an interim appointment as chargé d’affaires to Texas, but the Senate rejected his nomination in the spring of 1844 after Murphy made an unauthorized pledge of United States protection to Texas in the event of American annexation and an invasion by Mexico. He died shortly thereafter in Galveston (DAB; Henry Holcomb Bennett, ed., The County of Ross [1902], 186; Chillicothe Supporter, and Scioto Gazette, 29 May 1822, 8 July 1824; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ohio, Chillicothe, 1830; Kenneth E. Shewmaker and others, eds., The Papers of Daniel Webster: Diplomatic Papers [1983–87], 1:326–48; Boston Atlas, 10 May 1843; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 6:195, 293 [18 Dec. 1843, 23 May 1844]; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 16 Aug. 1844; New-Orleans Commercial Bulletin, 17 Aug. 1844).

Index Entries

  • Bank of the United States, Second; constitutionality of search
  • Murphy, William Sumter; and Second Bank of U.S. search
  • Murphy, William Sumter; identified search
  • Murphy, William Sumter; letter from search
  • Stevenson, Andrew; as attorney search