Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Wirt to Thomas Jefferson, 9 March 1820

From William Wirt

Washington. March 1820.

Dear Sir,

The gentleman who hands you this is Mr Albert Insinger, who has been introduced to me as Son to the Prior of the great commercial house of Insinger, & Co. of Amsterdam. Mr Insinger being on a tour through Virginia, & being desirous of paying his respects to you, I have been requested to give him a letter of introduction, which I do with very great pleasure, because I am sure you will, yourself, be pleased with having an opportunity of shewing courtesy to a stranger of such intelligence & merit as Mr Insinger is represented to be—& justly represented, I have no doubt, from the little I have had it in my power to see of him.

With very great respect, & esteem, I am, dear Sir, Your obdt Servt

Wm Wirt

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 14 May 1820 and so recorded (with additional parenthetical notation: “by mr Insinneger”) in SJL. RC (CSmH: JF); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Jesse Wharton, 22 June 1820, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello” by “Mr Insinger.” Tr (MdHi: Wirt Papers).

Albrecht Insinger (d. 1865), merchant, belonged to a prominent Dutch banking family. He was a partner of David Parish in Antwerp in 1818, when the latter was made United States consul there and requested that Insinger be named his vice-consul. In 1820 Insinger visited John Quincy Adams in Washington, D.C., and James Madison and TJ at Montpellier and Monticello, respectively. Three years later he unsuccessfully applied to be consul at Antwerp himself, having already acted as a consular agent there for a couple of years. He was a partner in the Antwerp firm of Agie, J. and A. Insinger until he left the partnership in 1827. By 1830 Insinger had moved to France. He was married that year in Nantes, and in 1831 he was in Eaux-Bonnes, where his wife died. In 1838 Insinger married again in Dordogne. He died in Bordeaux (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25; Staats Almanak vor den Jare 1823 [Amsterdam, (1823)], 27; Adams diary, entry for 15 Feb. 1820 [MHi: Adams Papers]; Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:4, 70; Guillaume Beetemé, Antwerpen Moederstad van Handel en Kunst [1893], 2:17; NeHaCF: Insinger family clippings file).

On this date Wirt wrote a similar letter to Madison (MdHi: Wirt Papers).

An undated letter, not found, from Insinger and his traveling companion, John P. Labouchere, is also recorded in SJL as received 14 May 1820.

Index Entries

  • Insinger, Albrecht; identified search
  • Insinger, Albrecht; introduced to J. Madison search
  • Insinger, Albrecht; introduced to TJ search
  • Insinger, Albrecht; letter from accounted for search
  • Insinger & Company (Amsterdam firm) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Labouchere, John Peter; letter from accounted for search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); A. Insinger introduced to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Insinger, Albrecht search
  • Wirt, William; introduces A. Insinger search
  • Wirt, William; letters from search