Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Law to Thomas Jefferson, 23 January 1821

From Thomas Law

Washington Jany 23 1821—

Dear Sir—

mr Crommelin & Mr Van Lenwep two very intelligent & respectable travellers will present to you some hasty remarks published in the Washington Gazette & formed into a pamphlet by Mr Dupont one of the most amiable judicious & useful adopted citizens—

Your polite attention to the Bearers which they would be sure of even without an introduction will oblige

yrs with unabated

Esteem regard & respect

Thomas Law—

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 31 May 1821 and so recorded in SJL; with additional notation by TJ beneath endorsement: “by Van Lenwep.” RC (ViU: TJP); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to James E. Heath, 15 Aug. 1821, on verso; addressed: “To Thomas Jefferson Esqr Montecello.”

Claude Daniel Crommelin (1795–1859), merchant, was born into a prominent Dutch mercantile family in Amsterdam. In 1819 he traveled to the United States on behalf of his family’s firm, Daniel Crommelin & Sons. American newspapers announced in May 1821 that, with a small group of European men that included Jacob van Lennep, Crommelin was “on a visit to the western part of the United States.” He subsequently returned to Amsterdam. In 1829 Crommelin was named as a trustee when his firm loaned $1.5 million to the cities constituting the District of Columbia. He served as a director of the Nederlandsche Bank, 1838–49, and as one of its commissioners, 1851–59. In 1854 Crommelin dissolved the family firm he had come to head but remained in the mercantile business on his own until his death in Arnhem, the Netherlands (Johannes H. Scheffer, ed., Genealogie van het Geslacht Crommelin [1879], 123; NeAA: Crommelin Family Papers; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 11 May 1821; Providence Rhode-Island American, and General Advertiser, 18 May 1821; Providence Rhode Island American, 10 Dec. 1824; Letter and Accompanying Documents from the Hon. Richard Rush to Joseph Gales, Esq., Mayor of the City of Washington; respecting the Loan of a Million and a Half of Dollars, negotiated by the former, in Europe, for the said city and the towns of Georgetown and Alexandria, under the authority of An Act of Congress of the United States, passed on the 24th of May, 1828 [1830], esp. 153; Ne: Nederlandsche Bank Papers; Joost Jonker, Merchants, Bankers, Middlemen: The Amsterdam Money Market During the First Half of the 19th Century [1996], 39–41, 194–200).

Jacob van Lennep (1769–1855), merchant and diplomat, was born into a family of Dutch traders in Smyrna (later Izmir, Turkey). In 1784 he joined the firm of his father, David George van Lennep, and he took over the concern’s management in 1792. Five years later van Lennep established the firm of Jacob van Lennep & Company, which he directed until 1848. The company traded in a variety of merchandise, including opium. Van Lennep made business trips to Europe and the United States in 1790, 1815–17, and 1819–22, and in 1823 his firm gave the city of Boston an Egyptian mummy as a token of appreciation for the profitable trade conducted there. In 1825 van Lennep was named the Dutch consul general at Smyrna, a position he held until his death in that city (Henrick S. van Lennep, Genealogie van de Familie van Lennep [2007], 332, 338–40; Jan Schmidt, From Anatolia to Indonesia: Opium Trade and the Dutch Community of Izmir, 1820–1940 [1998], esp. 87–108; Boston Daily Advertiser, 3 May 1823; Washington Daily National Journal, 2 Aug. 1826; gravestone inscription in Alsancak Dutch Protestant Cemetery, Izmir).

The pamphlet was likely An Address to the People of the United States, drawn up by order of the National Institution for the Promotion of Industry, established in June, 1820 (New York, 1820; possibly Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 11 [no. 689]), which was also printed in installments in the City of Washington Gazette, 23, 27, 28 Dec. 1820. Eleuthère I. du Pont de Nemours sat on the board of the new institution (New-York Statesman, 27 June 1820).

Index Entries

  • An Address to the People of the United States, drawn up by order of the National Institution for the Promotion of Industry, established in June, 1820 search
  • City of Washington Gazette (newspaper) search
  • Crommelin, Claude Daniel; identified search
  • Crommelin, Claude Daniel; introduced to TJ search
  • du Pont de Nemours, Eleuthère Irénée; and National Institution for the Promotion of Industry search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Law, Thomas; and National Institution for the Promotion of Industry search
  • Law, Thomas; introduces C. D. Crommelin and J. van Lennep to TJ search
  • Law, Thomas; letters from search
  • National Institution for the Promotion of Industry search
  • newspapers; City of Washington Gazette search
  • van Lennep, Jacob; identified search
  • van Lennep, Jacob; introduced to TJ search