Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Milligan to Thomas Jefferson, 17 February 1819 (second letter)

From Joseph Milligan

Georgetown February 17th 1819

Dear sir

This will introduce to your friendly offices my young man James Thomas who has long lived with me his good conduct has placed him high in my confidence & Esteem

With the best wishes for your health & happiness I am with Esteem

yours Respectfully

Joseph Milligan

RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello” by “Mr James Thomas”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Mar. 1819 and so recorded in SJL.

James Thomas (ca. 1793–1846), bookseller and stationer, lived in Georgetown with Joseph Milligan from his boyhood. During 1818 and 1819 he traveled throughout Virginia representing Milligan, and early in the latter year he visited Monticello. Having begun to sell books on his own by the summer of 1819, Thomas took over the retail side of Milligan’s operation a little over a year later. During the quarter century that followed, he owned a bookstore and lottery office, published a number of works, and distributed catalogues for the 1829 sale of TJ’s retirement library. Thomas died in Georgetown (Milligan to TJ, 20 Nov. 1818, 17 Feb. 1819 [first letter], 27 Nov. 1820; Georgetown National Messenger, 18, 20 Aug. 1819; DNA: RG 29, CS, D.C., Georgetown, 1820–40; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 12 Mar. 1825, 5 Jan. 1828, 25 Feb. 1829, 4 Mar. 1833, 29 Apr. 1846; For 1834. A Full Directory, for Washington City, Georgetown, and Alexandria [1834], 19).

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Milligan, Joseph; introduces J. Thomas search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letters from search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Thomas, James search
  • Thomas, James; identified search
  • Thomas, James; introduced to TJ search
  • Thomas, James; visits Monticello search