Thomas Jefferson Papers

William H. Crawford to Thomas Jefferson, 12 February 1820

From William H. Crawford

Washington. 12th Feby 1820

Dear Sir.

Major General Brown will deliver to you a bronze medal, struck in commemoration of the casting and erection of an Equestrian Statue of Henry the 4 of France, which has been sent to me by the Marquis Marbois with a request that it should be forwarded to you, with the assurance of his high regard for your character, and best wishes for your happiness.

I remain with sentiments of the most sincere respect Your most obt Servt

Wm H Crawford

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1820 and so recorded (with mistaken date of composition of 17 Feb. 1820 and additional notation [edge chipped] that it was delivered “by Majr Genl Bro[wn]”) in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Patrick Gibson, 14 Apr. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson late President of the United States Monticello Virginia.”

Jacob Jennings Brown (1775–1828), farmer and soldier, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, taught at a Quaker school in Crosswicks, New Jersey, from about 1793 to 1796, and then worked as a surveyor near Cincinnati for two years before moving briefly to New York City to teach. Soon thereafter he settled on a large tract of land in New York on the shores of Lake Ontario, where he founded the village of Brownville and became a successful farmer. Brown and his family also operated a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store there. He was Brownville’s first town supervisor in 1803, and he held this office again in 1806 and 1807. Although he lacked military training, Brown was appointed a brigadier general of the New York militia in 1811. He was commissioned a brigadier general in the regular army in 1813 and attained the rank of major general the following year. Hailed for his leadership, which included successes at the battle of Sackets Harbor in 1813 and those of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane in 1814, Brown remained in command of the army’s Northern Division following the conclusion of the War of 1812. In 1820 he visited TJ at Monticello. Following a reorganization in 1821, Brown was the only major general remaining in the United States Army, and he was ordered to Washington, D.C., to assume the newly created position of commanding general. He died in Washington (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; John D. Morris, Sword of the Border: Major General Jacob Jennings Brown, 1775–1828 [2000]; Brown to TJ, 20 Dec. 1807, and TJ to Brown, 27 Jan. 1808 [both in DLC]; William Wade Hinshaw and others, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy [1936–50; repr. 1969–77], 3:48; Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, repr. 1994, 2 vols. description ends , 1:252; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:325–6, 386–7, 460, 463 [18, 20 Feb., 10, 14 July 1813, 21, 24 Jan. 1814]; Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 1:95–6, 372–3, 402; Brown to Nathan Williams, 2 Mar. 1820, 25 May 1824 [NUtHi: Brown Papers]; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 25, 26, 27 Feb. 1828; gravestone inscription in Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.).

Brown delivered the same bronze medal to James Madison with a 12 Feb. 1820 letter from Crawford, and he evidently conveyed to both Madison and TJ a related volume, Charles Jean Lafolie, Mémoires Historiques relatifs a la fonte et a l’élévation de la Statue Équestre de Henri IV sur le terre-plein du Pont-Neuf a Paris (Paris, 1819; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 6 [no. 237]) (Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:13–4). On 16 Aug. 1818 Barbé Marbois spoke at the installation of the bronze equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf. This statue replaced an earlier version that had been destroyed during the French Revolution (Jean Baptiste Bonaventure de Roquefort, Dictionnaire historique et descriptif des Monumens religieux, civils et militaires de la Ville de Paris [Paris, 1826], 483; Arthur Chuquet, ed., and Frederic Lees, trans., Recollections of Baron de Frénilly, Peer of France (1768–1828) [1909], 295).

Index Entries

  • Barbé Marbois, François, comte de; and statue of Henry IV of France search
  • Barbé Marbois, François, comte de; sends medals search
  • Brown, Jacob Jennings; identified search
  • Brown, Jacob Jennings; introduced to TJ search
  • Brown, Jacob Jennings; visits Monticello search
  • Crawford, William Harris; introduces J. J. Brown search
  • Crawford, William Harris; letters from search
  • Henry IV, king of France; medal commemorating statue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Lafolie, Charles Jean; Mémoires Historiques relatifs a la fonte et a l’élévation de la Statue Équestre de Henri IV sur le terre-plein du Pont-Neuf a Paris search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); medal sent to search
  • medals; commemorating statue of Henry IV search
  • Mémoires Historiques relatifs a la fonte et a l’élévation de la Statue Équestre de Henri IV sur le terre-plein du Pont-Neuf a Paris (C. J. Lafolie) search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Brown, Jacob Jennings search