Thomas Jefferson Papers

Simon Harris to Thomas Jefferson, 14 October 1820

From Simon Harris

State of New Hampsher—
Bridgwater October 14th 1820

Hon & Dear Sir—

Althow I never had the pleasurer of Seeing you, yet I take the liberty to writing a few lines to you hoping you will not be ofended—when you was first elected President of the U— States I trust no man within the U, S. was more highly pleased then my Self, I called my first born son after you was elected, Thomas Jefferson Harris he is now almost 19 years of age is a bright Boy, and as your property is immence, when you dispose of your property I hope you will remember him, I always ment to have brought him up to Learning but my property is not Sufficient, having ben too liberal in helping Poor people out of Debt have lost considerable property, I have ben informed you have no very near relatives hope you will give him a Small plantation or give me one and I will give him my farm and will come and assist you in your age and Stay up your hands as the Children of Israel Stayed up the hands of Moses—

I am now at the City of Washington on busness and am likely to get through on monday next Shall leave the City for home as soon as possable other wise I ment to have Called on you had time prmitted—

hope you will use the freedom to rite to me on the Subject, to recive a comunication from you would be received1 with grate Satisfaction—

This from your very obedent & humble Serviant—

Simon Harris—

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Hon Thomas Jefferson late President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Oct. 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

Simon Harris (ca. 1770–1821), public official, was born in Bridgewater, Grafton County, New Hampshire. He served as the town’s tax collector, 1793–97 and 1800–02, as mail carrier, 1807–09 and 1817–20, and as deputy sheriff, 1807–18. Harris congratulated TJ on his election in 1802 and unsuccessfully asked him in 1805 for a federal appointment in Louisiana. He represented Bridgewater in the New Hampshire General Court, 1811–12, 1816, and 1818, and he served as the town treasurer in 1819. Harris owned a store in nearby Grafton in 1816. He died in Bridgewater (Richard W. Musgrove, History of the Town of Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire [1904], 1:139, 249–50, 500–2, 509, 2:224; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, James P. McClure, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 43 vols. description ends , 36:378–9; Harris to TJ, 16 Aug. 1805 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09]; Concord Gazette, 1 Sept. 1807; Concord New-Hampshire Patriot, 12 Sept. 1809, 8 Oct. 1816; Concord New-Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette, 29 Jan., 23 Apr. 1821; gravestone inscription in Green Grove Cemetery, Ashland, N.H.).

During their biblical battle with Amalek, the Israelites could only succeed as long as Moses kept “the rod of God” raised in the air, and so when he tired, Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands (Exodus 17.8–12).

1Manuscript: “reived.”

Index Entries

  • Bible; Exodus referenced search
  • Harris, Simon; asks TJ for land search
  • Harris, Simon; identified search
  • Harris, Simon; letter from search
  • Harris, Thomas Jefferson search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as president search
  • Moses (Hebrew prophet) search