Whitehill Burlington County N Jersey: January 20th. 1801
I have been informed that You have conferred upon me the very unexpected, and unsolicited honour of nominating me as Secretary at war of the United States. I beg Your Excellency to be assured that I am deeply affected with this very flattering mark of confidence. The afflicting necessity by which I am obliged to pay the last sad offices of duty to an honoured and only Surviving parent languishing at this place with a Sickness which we fear will prove fatal to her life, forbids me from entering into a minute detail of the many cogent reasons which compel me to decline the acceptance of this distinguished indication of your approbation—
I have the honour to be with the highest sentiments of respect very sincerely—Your friend and most obedient servant,
Lucius Horatio Stockton
MHi: Adams Papers.