§ From Samuel Latham Mitchill
28 May 1805, New York. “Mr. Ewell1 who will deliver you this is one of your fellow Citizens of Virginia. He has been for some time in Newyork, engaged in visiting our respectable families, and examining our public institutions. On his return to his native County in Prince William County, he purposes to stop at Philadelphia and receive the Degree of Doctor of Physick from his Alma Mater at Philadelphia: As he was loth to pass thro Washington without paying his respects to the Secretary of State and requested from me a letter of introduction,2 I yielded to his Wishes under a belief that I should make you acquainted with an amiable and intelligent young gentleman.”
RC (DLC). 1 p.
1. Thomas Ewell (1785–1826), a native of Prince William County, Virginia, received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1805, served as a surgeon in the U.S. Navy from 1805 to 1813, and practiced medicine in Washington, D.C. A multifaceted individual, he was surgeon at the New York and Washington navy yards, opened an apothecary shop on Capitol Hill in 1810, and owned a bridge over the Anacostia River. In 1812 he opened a gunpowder factory, an enterprise that involved him in a long quarrel with Navy Department clerk Charles W. Goldsborough when Ewell lost a contract to supply the government with gunpowder (PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 4:322, 323 n. 2, 440 n. 2, 5:523 n. 1, 562 n. 1, 565–66 and n. 2, 598–99 and nn.; Hayden, Virginia Genealogies, 348; Knox, Register of Officer Personnel, 18; Charles O. Paullin, “History of the Site of the Congressional and Folger Libraries,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society 37–38 : 180; B. G. du Pont, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company: A History, 1802–1902 [Boston, 1920], 38; Petersburg Daily Courier, 9 Nov. 1814). His thesis, Notes on the Stomach and Secretion, was printed in Philadelphia in 1805 (Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 8412); Ewell later wrote several other medical works, including The Ladies Medical Companion (Philadelphia, 1818; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 43981).
2. On 26 Oct. 1805 Ewell told Jefferson that he had not yet delivered this letter to JM (Ewell to Jefferson, 26 Oct. 1805 [DLC: Jefferson Papers]).