Thomas Jefferson Papers

“X.Y.Z Cosmopolite” (Christian Schultz) to Thomas Jefferson, [30 December 1821]

From “X.Y.Z Cosmopolite” (Christian Schultz)

[30 Dec. 1821]

Venerable Sir

My apology for addressing to you the inclosed extract from a manuscript volume of 300 pages and now in my possession, is, that fame has given you credit for cherishing sentiments too liberal for the age we live in.

If this should be the case, and you think the enclosed extracts worthy of your notice, I shall be gratified with your permission to send the whole work for your private perusal—at the same time pledging the honour of a gentleman never to make any public or private use of your opinions, or corrospondence (in case you should favour me with any) without your knowledge or consent.

I am a native American residing in Virginia, and should you be desirous of knowing any thing futher relative to Ben Hassans work, or myself: it will be necessary for you to have the following notice inserted in the Enquirer under the Richmond head.

With sentiments of profound respect for your talents, virtues and services, I am

X.Y.Z Cosmopolite

Citizen T.J. requests the promised communication from the unknown Cosmopolite X.Y.Z.

RC (MHi); in the hand of Christian Schultz; undated; at head of text: “Confidential”; addressed: “(Confidential) Thomas Jefferson Late President of the US Montecello”; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Anon. XYZ. Cosmopolite” on “Theism” received 9 Jan. 1822 and so recorded in SJL. Dated 30 Dec. 1821 in a record entry in Schultz’s letterbook (ViW).

Christian Schultz (1774–1830), judge and author, was born in New York City. He took classes at Columbia College (later Columbia University) in the 1790–91 academic year, and again in its medical department, 1792–93, but did not graduate. Schultz worked in New York as a brewer in at least 1799 and 1800, at a “commission & land-office” in 1807, as a ward justice, 1808–10 and 1811, and as a police justice, 1812–15. In New York in 1810 he published his two-volume Travels on an Inland Voyage through the States of New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and through the Territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and New-Orleans; performed in the years 1807 and 1808. About 1815 Schultz purchased a large tract of land near the Ohio River and moved to Wood County (later Pleasants County, West Virginia), where he served as postmaster at Schultz Range from 1821 until his death. He was a member of the New-York Historical Society and sent it a memoir on snakes in 1819. At his death in Wood County, Schultz’s personal estate was valued at $1,417.05, including two slaves (Thomas, Columbia University Officers and Alumni description begins Milton Halsey Thomas, Columbia University Officers and Alumni, 1754–1857, 1936 description ends , 116; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1799]: 339; [1800]: 321; [1807]: 411; [1812]: 37, 273; [1814]: 40, 245; Albany Register, 22 Mar. 1808, 20 Mar. 1810; New York Journal, 27 Feb. 1811; Richmond Enquirer, 18 Mar. 1815; New Haven, Conn., Columbian Register, 9 Mar. 1819; Schultz to TJ, 19 July 1823; Robert L. Pemberton, A History of Pleasants County, West Virginia [1929; repr. 2002], 33–6; A Register of Officers and Agents, civil, military, and naval, in the Service of the United States [Washington, 1822]: postal section, p. 95; [1830]: postal section, p. 182; Wood Co. Will Book, 3:147–8, 155–6; gravestone inscription in Schultz Cemetery, Pleasants Co.).

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  • Schultz, Christian (“Nathan Ben Hassan”; “X.Y.Z Cosmopolite”); identified search
  • Schultz, Christian (“Nathan Ben Hassan”; “X.Y.Z Cosmopolite”); letter from search
  • Schultz, Christian (“Nathan Ben Hassan”; “X.Y.Z Cosmopolite”); on religion search