Thomas Jefferson Papers

Samuel Smith (of Maryland) to Thomas Jefferson, 26 August 1820

From Samuel Smith (of Maryland)

Baltimore 26. Aug. 1820

Dr sir

I have had the honor to receive your very friendly letter, and I pray you to accept my sincere thanks for your good wishes.—My health since my last has been declining. my mind naturally active, & heretofore kept Constantly employed, is left for want of occupation to prey on itself.—and the consequence must be serious.—I was in a similar State when I went last Winter to Congress—from which I was relieved by the incessant labour incident to my situation as Chairman of the Ways & Means—

I take it for granted that Mr Forsyth will remain some time longer at Madrid, and I hope he may be able to induce Spain to relieve our flour from the present prohibitory duty. a similar duty exists in Portugal. the loss of those two markets, (which we formerly supplied) is very severely felt by our farmers. the fact is, there are no longer any substantive Markets for our flour, and the nominal price is $4.50 without demand.—France is now the best market, but our late law levying a tonnage duty of $18 on French ships deterrs the ships of the U.S. from adventuring to French Ports.—England will not want our Grain, yet Flour actually goes to Liverpool & is transported thence to all the W. Indies.—the loss of double transport is paid by our farmers.

Mr Rush will remain in Engd until he shall be elected Governor of Pennsa when Findlay’s time has expired, that attempt is contemplated.—In the mean time he lives in retirement out of the City.—Mr Gallatin1 consented reluctantly to remain another year for the purpose of completing a Commercial treaty. he will leave France next May. I should doubt whether the salary & Outfit2 would meet the expenses of that Court longer than two years—I would be glad to have it, but I have some Idea, that the mission will be filled by a Gentleman in whom a deep interest is felt, and if So, I would not on any Account interfere—I am D sir

your friend sincerely & truly

S. Smith

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Sept. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Benjamin A. Gould, 25 Sept. [1821], on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello near Charlotteville Va”; stamped; postmarked Baltimore, 26 Aug.

The late law was the 15 May 1820 “Act to impose a new tonnage duty on French ships and vessels” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 3:605).

1Smith here canceled “agreed.”

2Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • An Act to impose a new tonnage duty on French ships and vessels (1820) search
  • Findlay, William; as governor of Pa. search
  • flour; exportation of search
  • flour; price of search
  • Forsyth, John; as minister plenipotentiary to Spain search
  • France; and commerce search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; Ways and Means Committee search
  • Pennsylvania; elections in search
  • Portugal; commercial policies of search
  • Rush, Richard; as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain search
  • Rush, Richard; as possible gubernatorial candidate search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); as chairman of Ways and Means Committee search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); health of search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); letters from search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); seeks diplomatic appointment search
  • Spain; commercial policies of search
  • taxes; on imports search
  • United States; trade of search
  • West Indies; flour shipped to search