Thomas Jefferson Papers

Burgess Allison to Thomas Jefferson, 25 November 1818

From Burgess Allison

Washington D.C. Novr 25th 1818.

Respected Sir

Knowing that every improvement in the Arts & Sciences, which tends to promote the happiness or comfort of mankind, always gives you pleasure, I have taken the liberty of sending you the enclosed Pamphlet, exhibiting an improvement in Naval Architecture.

Mr Annesley the Author was a particular acquaintance of mine before he went to Europe, which was about two years ago. He had built a small Sloop on the Hudson River, which plied between N. York & Albany for two years prior to his leaving this, and succeeded admirably. From that success he was encouraged to go to Europe, where it seems he has built another vessel upon the same Plan. He transmitted me several Copies of his Publication, which has afforded me the pleasure of distributing them among my friends & Gentlemen of Science—He writes me Word, that encouraged by the French Minister at London, he was to set off for Paris the next day, and meant to go from thence to Amsterdam: and then, to use his own words, for this Country, the best one that ever did, or does now exist on Earth for the happiness of mankind—

I am again Stationed here for this Winter as Chaplain to the house of Representatives; and should you be able to spare so much time, I should be pleased to hear your opinion of this System of Naval Architecture—

Wishing you every blessing, I remain respectfully Your Hbl Svt & fellow Citizen

B Allison

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Nov. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: William Annesley, A Description of William Annesley’s New System of Naval Architecture, as Secured to Him, for the United States of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, and the Colonies, by His Majesty’s Royal Letters Patent (London, 1818; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 5 [no. 217]; TJ’s copy in PPAmP).

The french minister at london was René Eustache, marquis d’Osmond (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale, 38:907–8).

Index Entries

  • A Description of William Annesley’s New System of Naval Architecture (W. Annesley) search
  • Allison, Burgess; as chaplain search
  • Allison, Burgess; letters from search
  • Allison, Burgess; sends pamphlet to TJ search
  • Annesley, William; A Description of William Annesley’s New System of Naval Architecture search
  • Annesley, William; as naval architect search
  • boats; design of search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; chaplains to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Osmond, René Eustache, marquis d’; as French minister to Great Britain search