Thomas Jefferson Papers

John D. Godman and John P. Foote to Thomas Jefferson, 6 March 1822

From John D. Godman and John P. Foote

Cincinnati, March 6th 1822.


The first number of the Western Quarterly Reporter, is forwarded to you by the mail that conveys this. We should feel wanting in duty, if we neglected presenting to you by the first opportunity, an evidence that the western Country is appreciating the advantages of that free government for which you have so long, and so successfully labored. We hope that you will derive some pleasure, if not from the work itself, at least from the intentions

of your sincere admirers and very Hble Serts

John D. Godman Editor
Jno P Foote Publisher
of the Western Quarterly Reporte[r]

RC (MHi); in Godman’s hand, signed by Godman and Foote; edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Mar. 1822 and so recorded in SJL; with Dft of TJ to Godman and Foote, 31 Mar. 1822, at foot of text. RC (DLC); address cover only; with Dfts of TJ to Henry V. Somerville, 15 Aug. 1824, on recto and verso; addressed in Godman’s hand: “For Thomas Jefferson, Esqr. Monticello Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Cincinnati, 7 Mar.

John Davidson Godman (1794–1830), anatomist and naturalist, was born in Annapolis, Maryland. Orphaned young, he became a printer’s apprentice in Baltimore during the winter of 1811–12. Godman served in the United States Navy, 1814–15, and studied medicine privately before entering the University of Maryland, from which he received a medical degree in 1818. He practiced medicine briefly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and a village near Baltimore, and then moved to Philadelphia, where he gained attention as an anatomy lecturer. After one term as professor of surgery at Cincinnati’s Medical College of Ohio, Godman returned to Philadelphia in 1822 and cofounded and edited the short-lived Western Quarterly Reporter of Medical, Surgical, and Natural Science. supported by physicians and naturalists of the western country. He lectured at the forerunner of the Philadelphia School of Anatomy and directed it from 1823 to 1826. During the same period Godman wrote and edited several medical and anatomical works. He became a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1825. Godman moved to New York City as professor of anatomy at the new Rutgers Medical College in 1826, but he resigned the next year due to poor health and retired in 1828 to Germantown, Pennsylvania. His later publications included a pioneering three-volume American Natural History (Philadelphia, 1826–28), natural history articles for the Encyclopædia Americana (1829–33), and the posthumous Rambles of a Naturalist (1833) (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, repr. 1968, 20 vols. in 10 description ends ; Eugene Fauntleroy Cordell, The Medical Annals of Maryland, 1799–1899 [1903], 771–9; William W. Keen, The History of the Philadelphia School of Anatomy [1875], 7–11; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Minutes, 15 Apr. 1825 [MS in PPAmP]; American Journal of the Medical Sciences 6 [1830]: 274–5).

John Parsons Foote (1783–1865), merchant and publisher, was born in Guilford, Connecticut. He worked as a merchant in New York City from at least 1805 until 1816. By 1820 Foote moved permanently to Cincinnati, where he operated a typefoundry and bookstore. He published the Western Quarterly Reporter in 1822 and edited the Cincinnati Literary Gazette two years later. Foote was president of the privately owned Cincinnati Water Company from 1825 until the city bought it in 1840. He was president of the General Board of Underwriters for the city’s insurance companies by 1841. Active in numerous institutions and societies in Cincinnati, Foote helped found the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio in 1831, was a vice president of the Cincinnati Historical Society, 1844–48, and served as president after the two societies united in 1849. He wrote The Schools of Cincinnati in 1855. Foote’s real estate and personal property in 1860 were valued at $8,000 and $4,000, respectively (Abram W. Foote, Foote Family: comprising the Genealogy and History of Nathaniel Foote [1907–32], 1:201; New York Daily Advertiser, 6 Dec. 1805; 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 [1806]: 180; [1816]: 209; William H. Venable, Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley [1891]; Charles Theodore Greve, Centennial History of Cincinnati and Representative Citizens [1904], vol. 1; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ohio, Cincinnati, 1860; Urbana [Ohio] Union, 19 July 1865).

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; members of search
  • Foote, John Parsons; identified search
  • Foote, John Parsons; letter from search
  • Foote, John Parsons; publishesWestern Quarterly Reporter of Medical, Surgical, and Natural Science search
  • Godman, John Davidson; editsWestern Quarterly Reporter of Medical, Surgical, and Natural Science search
  • Godman, John Davidson; identified search
  • Godman, John Davidson; letter from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Western Quarterly Reporter of Medical, Surgical, and Natural Science search