Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Barnes to Thomas Jefferson, 12 October 1819

From John Barnes

George Town Coa 12 Octr 1819.

Dear Sir

My friend Doctr Joshua White—a Native of this place whose settled residence for 18 yrs passed has been at Savannah—and for 10 yrs an Established & successfull Merchant of the latter—2 or 3 yrs on a tour thro’ England Scotland &c—and now, on his return to Savannah via Charlottesville—to Staunton—wishing for an introduction1 to you—altho acquainted with the Honble Secty of the Treasury.—yet fearing he might not have the Opportunity of being favd with his Letter—have induced me—to this Liberty—and withal to renew my Anxious desire of learning—the state of yr health and—of the good families—to whom most Respectfully—

I am ever Sir

Your Obedt & very huml servt

John Barnes,

its probable you may have perused the Docts late publication of said tour—

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 18 Oct. 1819 “by Dr White” and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Jared Mansfield, 13 Feb. 1821, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqe Monticello—Hond Doct White.”

Joshua Elder White (1775–1820), physician and merchant, was born in Pennsylvania and spent much of his youth in Georgetown, D.C., where he likely received his medical education through apprenticeships. By 1801 he was practicing medicine in Waynesboro, Georgia. White was soon publishing the results of his medical and environmental studies of the region in medical journals. In 1804, having relocated to Savannah, he was a founder of the Georgia Medical Society. Beginning around 1807 White formed a mercantile business partnership with his brother. After an 1810 trip to England, he published a work on his travels, Letters on England, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1816). When fires and storms ravaged Savannah in 1820, White’s business venture failed and he returned to medicine, soon falling victim himself to yellow fever (Victor H. Bassett, “Two Physicians and Two Periods in the Medical History of Georgia,” Medical Association of Georgia, Journal 29 [1940]: 137–42; Mary Catharine McAllister, Descendants of Archibald McAllister, of West Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, Pa., 1730–1898 [1898], 42; Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 8 Sept. 1820).

1Manuscript: “introdution.”

Index Entries

  • Barnes, John; introduces J. E. White search
  • Barnes, John; letters from search
  • Crawford, William Harris; as secretary of the treasury search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Letters on England (J. E. White) search
  • White, Joshua Elder; identified search
  • White, Joshua Elder; introduced to TJ search
  • White, Joshua Elder; Letters on England search