Thomas Jefferson Papers

Archibald S. Bulloch to Thomas Jefferson, 28 April 1819

From Archibald S. Bulloch

Savannah 28th Apl 1819.


More than three years have elapsed, since I introduced a Son of mine, to the Christian character, by naming him Thomas Jefferson.

My respect for your character, and gratitude for your services to our common Country, filled me with the ambition of participating in the honor of transmitting your name to posterity, not indeed with the pen of an historian, because I am not competent, but in the person of a little valuable member of my domestic circle.

My intention is to train up this boy to be an honor to your memory. Perhaps I may be supposed to be not an impartial judge of the little fellows mind and disposition; but whether I am or not, I may be permitted to offer an opinion for what it is worth.—I do indeed believe him to be an uncommonly fine child, and with the advantages of education which I mean to bestow upon him, my heart swells with the hope, of his becoming one day an ornament to the nation, and an honor to your Name.

That you may long enjoy in your retirement, that happiness, which you have so pre-eminantly contributed to extend to others, is the Sincere prayer of, sir.

Your friend, & admirer

A. S Bulloch—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 15 May 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to LeRoy, Bayard & Company, 29 May 1819, on verso; addressed: “The Honorable Thomas Jefferson. Monticello. Virginia”; stamp canceled; franked; postmarked Savannah, 2 May.

Archibald Stobo Bulloch (1774–1859), businessman and public official, was a native of Georgia and a commission merchant in Savannah by 1807. He was also a local justice, notary public, firemaster, and alderman in that city during the years that followed. Bulloch served the port of Savannah as naval agent, 1808–19, and collector, 1810–22. Late in his tenure as collector, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams noted that “numerous indications, amounting in my mind to presumptive proof,” pointed to Bulloch being “part owner of a privateer fitted out at Savannah to cruise under South American colors, with instructions to take prizes of Spanish vessels and others.” On leaving office he was accused of owing the federal treasury about $160,000 and spent more than a year in custody awaiting settlement of the case. The owner of seventy-three slaves in 1820 but only three in 1850, Bulloch seems never to have fully recovered financially from the affair. He died in Savannah (Magazine of History 8 [1908]: 110; Republican; And Savannah Evening Ledger, 20 Oct. 1807, 24 May, 15 Nov. 1808, 8 Aug., 8 Sept. 1812; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:85, 146, 3:283 [14, 15 Nov. 1808, 17, 18 Apr. 1810, 29 Mar. 1822]; City of Washington Gazette, 22 Mar. 1819; Charles Francis Adams, ed., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, comprising portions of his Diary from 1795 to 1848 [1874–77], 5:151; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 1 Apr. 1825; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ga., Savannah, 1820, 1830, Chatham Co., 1850, 1850 slave schedules; Savannah Daily Morning News, 9 Mar. 1859; gravestone inscription in Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah).

Bulloch’s son Thomas Jefferson Bulloch (1815–73) lived in the vicinity of Savannah for much or all of his life. He was deputy clerk of the inferior court of Chatham County for a time and served the Confederacy as a lieutenant in a Georgia unit (DNA: RG 29, CS, Ga., Chatham Co., 1850, Savannah, 1860; certification of Philip M. Russell as justice of the peace, 1 Nov. 1864 [G-Ar]; gravestone inscription in Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah).

Index Entries

  • Bulloch, Archibald Stobo; identified search
  • Bulloch, Archibald Stobo; introduces son to TJ search
  • Bulloch, Archibald Stobo; letter from search
  • Bulloch, Thomas Jefferson; identified search
  • Bulloch, Thomas Jefferson; introduced to TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search