Thomas Jefferson Papers

Peter S. Du Ponceau to Thomas Jefferson, 19 April 1821

From Peter S. Du Ponceau

Philadelphia 19th April 1821.

Dear Sir

Your polite & ready answer to the letter I had the honor of writing to you on the Subject of Mr Vanuxem calls for the expression of my gratitude. The young Gentleman will regret exceedingly that it will not be in his power to commence his useful labours in your immediate view & under your immediate protection. It would have been Such an advantage as he Surely will not meet with elsewhere. Your condescension in answering his application So much in detail will be highly flattering to him; the expression of your good will towards him is an honor of which he will be proud thro’ life.

Permit me, Sir, as a mark of my high respect to present you with a Copy of an Address which I have delivered at the opening of a Law Institution which I am endeavouring to establish in this City, in which I am greatly encouraged by the Zeal of the Students. I have resided in this Country near 44 Years & have been treated with kindness as a Child of the family. It will be a Source of pride of happiness to me, if in return I can employ my very limited abilities to the advantage of a Country to which I owe So much. I am Supported in the undertaking by my brethren of the profession, & have the Satisfaction to find that the necessity of Such an establishment is generally admitted. If, however, it Should not Succeed in my hands, like many other useful things, which have been Completed by others than those who began them, it may be taken up by abler men, & the object ultimately attained.

I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Sir Your most obedient humble servant

Peter S, Du Ponceau

RC (DLC); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson, Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1821 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Du Ponceau, “An Address delivered at the opening of the Law Academy of Philadelphia, before the Trustees and Members of the Society for the promotion of legal knowledge, in the Hall of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, the 21st of February 1821,” Journal of Jurisprudence: A New Series of the American Law Journal 1 (1821): 211–24.

Du Ponceau also sent John Adams and James Madison the enclosed address (Du Ponceau to Adams, 19 Apr. 1821 [MHi: Adams Papers]; Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:312–3, Madison’s copy in DLC: Rare Book and Special Collections, Madison Collection).

Through an unidentified mode of transmission, Du Ponceau later sent TJ a copy of his work entitled A Discourse on the Early History of Pennsylvania; being an annual oration delivered before the American Philosophical Society … on Wednesday, the 6th of June, 1821 (Philadelphia, 1821; probably Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 5 [no. 166]; TJ’s copy in PPL, inscribed by Du Ponceau: “Respectfully presented to Thomas Jefferson, Esqr By the Author”).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; works sent to search
  • A Discourse on the Early History of Pennsylvania (P. S. Du Ponceau) search
  • American Philosophical Society; orations delivered to search
  • An Address delivered at the opening of the Law Academy of Philadelphia (P. S. Du Ponceau) search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; A Discourse on the Early History of Pennsylvania search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; An Address delivered at the opening of the Law Academy of Philadelphia search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; introduces L. C. Vanuxem to TJ search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Journal of Jurisprudence search
  • Law Academy of Philadelphia search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); works sent to search
  • Philadelphia; Law Academy of Philadelphia search
  • Vanuxem, Lardner Clark; introduced to TJ search