Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Basil Wood, 10 September 1792

To Basil Wood

Monticello Sep. 10. 1792.


Your favor of the 31st. Ult. was delivered to me yesterday. I do not know that there is likely to be any vacancy in the clerkships of my office. That of Mr. Lambert was an extra employment for recording the laws of Congress, on the particular account of the superior elegance of his hand; so that if he retires (as he has proposed) the business will devolve again on the ordinary clerks of the office by whom it was executed before. I am sorry therefore that it is not in my power to give you an answer more agreeable to your wishes, and which would certainly have been more agreeable to me. I am Sir Your very humble servant

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Basil Wood.”

Wood’s letter of 31 Aug. was received by TJ on 9 Sep. 1792 and so recorded in SJL (RC in DLC: Washington Papers, Applications for Office). A clerk in the office of Virginia Auditor John Pendleton, Wood was unsuccessful in this and a subsequent attempt to secure a federal appointment (Wood to Edmund Randolph, 16 Feb. 1794, same). His father, Leighton Wood, formerly solicitor general of Virginia, was a clerk in the Treasury Department at Philadelphia (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xiii, 463; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 17 vols. description ends , xii, 309–10).

The following month William Lambert, who did not leave State Department employ until 1793, recommended William Galt of Richmond for a clerkship (Lambert to TJ, 6 Oct. 1792, RC in DLC: Washington Papers, Applications for Office; endorsed by TJ). In November John Page recommended David Mandeville for that position (Page to TJ, 21 Nov. 1792, RC in same, endorsed by TJ as received 21 Nov. 1792 and so recorded in SJL; Mandeville to TJ, 28 Nov. 1792, RC in same, endorsed by TJ as received 27 Nov. 1792).

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