Thomas Jefferson Papers

Dominic W. Boudet to Thomas Jefferson, 2 January 1819

From Dominic W. Boudet

Baltimore, January 2d 1819.


A difficulty attached to the Subtilties of Etiquette and formality has often prevented many valuable discoveries of being known, those through whose ascendency alone Men of genius can possibly succeed being too often inaccessible; but, from a Knowledge of your liberality of Sentiments, I feel a ready assurance that Scientifical characters need no other introduction to you, Sir, than their merits and, consequently, that no further apology is necessary, in case of intrusion on my Side.

In this confidence I have used the freedom of addressing you and beg leave to have the honour of Communicating to you a Subjet of National and Scientifical a nature on which your Sanction or Countenance would insure its highly important Success.

I have the honour to be, Very respectfully Sir, Your very humble Servt

D. W. Boudet

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 10 Jan. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to James Breckinridge, 3 Mar. 1819, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Mount-Cello Virginia”; franked; postmarked. Enclosure not found.

Dominic W. Boudet (d. 1845), artist, was a native of France who reportedly lived in Paris and studied under Jacques Louis David. By 1805 he was in Richmond with his father, Nicolas Vincent Boudet, with whom he operated academies teaching art, dancing, and French. The pair were in Baltimore, 1806–08, Washington, D.C., 1810–12, and in Philadelphia in 1814. The younger Boudet filed for bankruptcy in 1812. He unsuccessfully sought congressional support during the 1816–17 session for a national museum he wished to establish in Washington. In 1819 Boudet and his father worked on a massive painting of the 1814 Battle of Baltimore, but he went bankrupt again when the city of Baltimore did not buy the completed work. He continued to be peripatetic thereafter, painting and exhibiting his works in a variety of cities including Annapolis in 1819, Charleston, South Carolina, in 1820, New York City later in the 1820s and early in the 1830s, Boston in 1831, New Orleans, 1833–34, and Charleston again by 1838. Boudet was exhibiting a painting in Baltimore when he died (David Karel, Dictionnaire des Artistes de Langue Française en Amérique du Nord [1992], 108–9; George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564–1860 [1957], 67; Anna Wells Rutledge, Artists in the Life of Charleston Through Colony and State From Restoration to Reconstruction [1949]; Richmond Enquirer, 21 Mar. 1805; Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 17 Sept. 1806; Baltimore Directory and Citizens’ Register [1807]: 21; [1808]: 21; Washington National Intelligencer, 10 Oct. 1810, 16 June 1812; Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Advertiser, 7 Aug. 1811, 29 Oct. 1845; Alexandria Daily Gazette, Commercial & Political, 26 May 1812; Benjamin Kite and Thomas Kite, Kite’s Philadelphia Directory for 1814 [Philadelphia, 1814]; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 10:106 [26 Dec. 1816]; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States description ends , 6:233 [13 Feb. 1817]; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 26, 28 Aug. 1818, 28 Sept., 13 Oct., 12 Nov. 1819, 24 Feb., 25 Mar. 1820; City of Washington Gazette, 25 Sept. 1819; Annapolis Maryland Gazette and Political Intelligencer, 9 Dec. 1819; DNA: RG 29, CS, Pa., Philadelphia, 1820; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1827]: 94; [1828]: 133; [1831]: 142; [1832]: 157; Boston Masonic Mirror, 17 Dec. 1831; Washington Globe, 12 Jan. 1833).

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  • Boudet, Dominic W.; identified search
  • Boudet, Dominic W.; letter from search
  • Boudet, Dominic W.; sends work to TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search