Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Francis Mentges, 4 March 1801

From Francis Mentges

Washington 4t. March 1801


I trust that my Official conduct from the 20t. july 1790, when I was honored with the Appointment as Inspector of the troops in the service of the United States, has been such, as to merit approbation, and to prove in the best manner the sense entertained of the favors and attention towards me during the continuance of service to the present time—

Permit me then Sir to solicit your Attention for the Claim of one who, through the course of the late war uniformly exerted himself in a Military Character and whose hopes rest entirely in being still engaged in the service of his Country, I am informed that the Office of Inspector of Fortifications is still vacant, in this, or in any station you may deem me qualified I shall be happy to evince my gratitude and Respect, with high considr

I am Sir your Ob hb Servt.

F Mentges

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 2 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.

Francis Mentges (d. 1805) was a native of the duchy of Zweibrücken. During the Revolutionary War he served as an officer in several Pennsylvania regiments. Nathanael Greene made him inspector of the Southern Army in November 1782. He served as inspector general of the Pennsylvania state militia, and then as an unofficial inspector for U.S. troops. Since 1797 Mentges served as procurement agent for the reconstruction of Fort Mifflin on Mud Island in the Delaware River, charged with acquiring construction materials, paying laborers, and disbursing funds. The agency ceased in May 1801 by the order of Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. In March 1805 Dearborn hired Mentges to help oversee construction of a federal armory at Rocky Mount, South Carolina (South Carolina Historical Magazine, 29 [1928], 158–9; 81 [1980], 219, 221; PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877-Preston, Catalogue Daniel Preston, A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Westport, Conn., 2001, 2 vols. description ends , 45 [1921], 385; Richard K. Showman and others, eds., The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, 13 vols. [Chapel Hill, 1976–2005], 12:147–8; Pennsylvania Gazette, 4 Oct. 1786; Report, from the Committee of Claims, to whom was Referred… the Petition of Francis Mentges … 16th February, 1805 [Washington, 1805]; Francis Mentges to Henry Dearborn, 19 Dec. 1801, RC in DLC).

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