Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Parrott, 14 March 1801

From Richard Parrott

Geo Town March 14. 1801


Presuming from the late appointment of the present Collector of the Port of George Town, that, that office will be vacated—I beg Permission to solicit the said office—and should it appear to you from any information recieved respecting me, that I am qualified therefor, I shall deem the appointment a very great obligation conferred on

Sir Yr: Mo: Ob: Servt.

Richard Parrott

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson President U. States”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.


Richard Parrott (d. 1822), a prominent Georgetown manufacturer, later operated a ropewalk and spinning and carding mill in the city. TJ appointed him a justice of the peace for Washington County on 11 May 1805 (RCHS description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1895–1989 description ends , 5 [1902], 279; 18 [1915], 89; 31–32 [1930], 98–9; Bryan, National Capital description begins Wilhelmus B. Bryan, A History of the National Capital From Its Foundation Through the Period of the Adoption of the Organic Act, New York, 1914–16, 2 vols. description ends , 1:527).

The present collector of the port of george town: James M. Lingan.

Parrott’s application was supported by a separate letter to TJ dated 14 Mch. and signed by 15 citizens of Georgetown, headed by Edward Gantt, which stated that Parrott’s “industry, integrity, and knowledge of business, qualify him, to make a useful officer” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; in Gantt’s hand; addressed: “Thos. Jefferson Esquire. President of the U. States. Washington”; franked; postmarked 16 Mch.; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Mch.).

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