Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Waters Hickman to Thomas Jefferson, [received 5 May 1822]

From William Waters Hickman

[received 5 May 1822]

Hond Sir,

A stranger from Jefferson County is constrained by necessity to solicit your hospitality for a few Days—He has taught school the past winter in Augusta, & has come down to attend the Episcopal Convention that is shortly to assemble in Charlottsville in expectation of being sent on as a student to the seminary which has lately been opened in N. York for Theological Candidates.—If this request is considered too presuming to be admissible, He will be equally thankful to Mr J— to give Him some employment in His Garden, on his Farm, or in any other way that will enable Him to earn a subsistence untill the period alluded to.

William Waters Hickman

RC (MHi); undated; addressed: “T. Jefferson Esqr Present”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 May 1822 and so recorded in SJL.

William Waters Hickman (ca. 1798–1864), soldier and educator, was a resident of Jefferson County (later West Virginia). Having served successively as an ensign and third lieutenant in the United States Army, 1814–15, and a militia lieutenant and adjutant in 1818, he worked for a time as a schoolmaster in Augusta County. Hickman visited Monticello during the spring of 1822. Shortly after his visit, he wrote a letter “to Miss Cornelia Randolph & sisters,” which she said thanked them for their “hospitality to him in very grateful terms, desires his respects to be given to every member of the family by name, regrets that his destiny should prevent his mingling frequently in our refined society & the social enjoyments of our little circle, says, disclaiming presumption, he loves the young ladies of our family, & hopes to meet us all in heaven.” Hickman was admitted to the Western Lunatic Hospital in Staunton in 1829 for unspecified reasons and died there from chronic undernourishment (Heitman, U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1903, repr. 1994, 2 vols. description ends , 1:528; Charles Town Farmer’s Repository, 22 Apr. 1818; Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph [Trist], 20 May 1822 [RC in NcU: NPT]; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1835–36 sess.], Document No. 19, Report of the Court of Directors of the Western Lunatic Hospital; Western State Hospital admission register, 1828–68 [Vi: Records of Western State Hospital]).

No evidence has been found that Hickman attended the General Theological seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City.

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; convention of Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia held in search
  • Episcopalians; and education search
  • Episcopalians; convention of Va. diocese search
  • gardens; at Monticello search
  • General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church (New York City) search
  • Hickman, William Waters; identified search
  • Hickman, William Waters; letters from search
  • Hickman, William Waters; seeks TJ’s assistance search
  • Hickman, William Waters; visits Monticello search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); gardens search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Hickman, William Waters search
  • New York (city); General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church search
  • schools and colleges; General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church (New York City) search