Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Wallace to Thomas Jefferson, 27 February 1819

From William Wallace

Richmond Feby 27th 1819


I have for some years past been very desirious of seeing1 you. And being in company with Mr Peter Franciscoe had signified the same who informed me that he would see you at your residence some time this ensuing month. And that he had no doubt you would be well pleased to see any one who might be desirious of seeing you. And as I have no other views save that of seeing you I intend calling2 some time in march. hoping you will live your life time out, with cheerfulness

And I remain
Sir your’s Respectffuly

Wm Wallace

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 4 Mar. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joel Yancey, 9 Mar. 1819, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson of Monticello”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 27 Feb.

William Wallace (1779–1854), merchant, was born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In 1815 he immigrated to Philadelphia and declared his intention to become a United States citizen. Wallace relocated by 1819 to Richmond, where he sold groceries, wine, and spirits for the rest of his life. Politically, he supported free trade and states’ rights, opposed the admission of free western states and northern efforts to end slavery, and became active in the Democratic Party. By the 1850s he came to believe that southern slaves were happier and led more comfortable lives than free whites in America’s largest cities and manufacturing centers and declared himself “almost ready for secession.” Wallace owned real estate valued at $10,430 in 1850 and personal property worth almost $31,000 at the time of his death in Richmond (Wallace’s naturalization records, 27 Nov. 1815 [DNA: RG 21, NPEDP]; DNA: RG 29, CS, Richmond, 1820–50; Richmond Enquirer, 15 Nov. 1831, 8 Oct. 1841, 5 July 1842; Gregg D. Kimball, American City, Southern Place: A Cultural History of Antebellum Richmond [2000], 93–4, 101–2, 283n, 284n; Richmond Daily Dispatch, 27 Dec. 1854; Richmond City Hustings Court Will Book, 16:530, 533; gravestone inscription in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond).

1Manuscript: “seing,” here and below.

2Wallace here canceled “on you.”

Index Entries

  • Francisco, Peter (Pedro) search
  • Wallace, William (1779–1854); identified search
  • Wallace, William (1779–1854); letter from search
  • Wallace, William (1779–1854); plans to visit TJ search