Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to DeWitt Clinton, 19 March 1822

To DeWitt Clinton

Monticello Mar. 19. 22.

I thank you, Dear Sir, for the elegant pens you have been so kind as to send me; they perform their office admirably. I had formerly got such from Baltimore, but they were of steel, and their points rusted off immediately.

I rejoice sincerely in the progress of your Canal, and envy your location in a state wise enough to see that the common interest is individual interest, and rich enough to pursue it. while you get millions to employ so usefully, I am laboring for a few thousands to save my fellow-citizens from the Gothic barbarism into which they are sinking for want of the means of education. you are doing all the good you wish, I only that which I can. I salute you with great respect and esteem.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNC: Clinton Papers); addressed: “Governor Clinton Albany”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 21 Mar.; mistakenly endorsed by Clinton as a letter of 9 Mar. 1822, with his additional notation: “Thanks for some shaker pens & about our Canals.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Patrick Gibson to TJ, 11 Nov. 1819; endorsed by TJ.

TJ had ordered steel pens from Peregrine Williamson of baltimore in 1808 (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1222, 1235).

Index Entries

  • canals; in N.Y. search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; and canals search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; letters to search
  • Clinton, DeWitt; sends pens to TJ search
  • education; in Va. search
  • education; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; canals of New York search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; education search
  • New York (state); and canals search
  • pens (writing instruments); metallic search
  • pens (writing instruments); points for search
  • religion; Shakers search
  • Shakers; pens made by search
  • Virginia; and education search
  • Williamson, Peregrine; TJ orders pens from search