Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Clapper to Thomas Jefferson, [received 27 July 1820]

From John Clapper

Charlestown Jefferson County [received 27 July 1820]

Great Sir,

I may appear to take a liberty, which I ought not to do, but your liberality will countenance it, because addressed through patriotic motives, and a confidence in my capacity to be useful. As the superintendant of a great concern, including multifarious duties, may by his influence, or right appoint subordinate agents, I entreat that you will be so good as to give me some employment under you in the conduct of the central college of Virginia to its completion. I am a man of good education & will devote it in any way to the benefit of the work, & my own support. If you will be so kind as to let me know whether1 there is any vacancy, I will forward the necessary recommendations

with great esteem Your [. . .]

John Clapper

RC (MHi); undated; one word illegible; endorsed by TJ as received 27 July. Recorded in SJL as received 27 July 1820.

John Clapper (ca. 1799–1834) may be the man of that name who attended Hampden-Sydney College around 1815. He apparently lived from at least 1816 in Jefferson County, Virginia (later West Virginia). Unsuccessful in his bid to obtain employment through TJ, Clapper worked thereafter in that county as a physician (General Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Hampden-Sidney College. Virginia. 1776–1906 [(1908)], 55; Charles Town Farmer’s Repository, 3 July 1816; Charles Town Virginia Free Press, 9 Jan. 1834).

1Manuscript: “whethr.”

Index Entries

  • Clapper, John; identified search
  • Clapper, John; letter from search
  • Clapper, John; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search