Thomas Jefferson Papers

William R. Swift to Thomas Jefferson, 25 July 1820

From William R. Swift

Winchester Va 25 July 1820

I take the liberty to trouble you Sir, with a letter for His Excy Mr Corria which, should he have left Monticello, the forwarding it will much oblige him and particularly

Sir, Your most obedient Servt

W: R: Swift

RC (MHi); dateline beneath signature; at foot of text: “To Thomas Jefferson Esq Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 2 Aug. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

William Roberdeau Swift (1787–1833), merchant, was born in Alexandria. By 1804 he had relocated to Baltimore, where he worked in a countinghouse and sailed as supercargo on several sea voyages. A mercantile partner in his own right by 1815, Swift served, at the behest of José Corrêa da Serra, as Portugal’s vice-consul in Baltimore in 1818 and as consul the following year. He supported John C. Calhoun politically prior to the 1824 presidential election and Andrew Jackson thereafter. By the mid-1820s Swift was dividing his time between New York City, where directories list him as a trader, 1826–31, and Washington, North Carolina, where he died (Roberdeau Buchanan, Genealogy of the Roberdeau Family [1876], 139–40; Harrison Ellery, The Memoirs of Gen. Joseph Gardner Swift [1890], 48, 216, genealogical appendix, p. 27; Jackson, Papers description begins Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, Daniel Feller, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 1980– , 10 vols. description ends , 6:521–3; Baltimore Price Current, 1 July 1815; Léon Bourdon, José Corrêa da Serra: Ambassadeur du Royaume-Uni de Portugal et Brésil a Washington, 1816–1820 [1975], 404–5, 462, 466; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 18 May, 1 June 1818; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 6 Mar. 1819; Samuel Jackson, comp., The Baltimore Directory, corrected up to June, 1819 [Baltimore, 1819]; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1826]: 460; [1831]: 615; gravestone inscription in Oakdale Cemetery, Washington, N.C.).

Index Entries

  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and W. R. Swift search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; visits Monticello search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Corrêa da Serra, José search
  • Swift, William Roberdeau; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Swift, William Roberdeau; identified search
  • Swift, William Roberdeau; letter from search