Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jonas Simonds, 14 April 1801

From Jonas Simonds

Philadel April 14th 1801


Near Nine years the period of my life the most Active and the most Valuable when Consumed in the Contest to Establish the liberty and Independence of this My Native Country, which the inclosed Certificate will Explain, Since that period Sir, and since the adoption of the Constitution of the united States I have held a Subordinate Station in the Custom House department of this district, But my political Opinions & Sentiments not Harmonising with those who called themselves Federal, left me no room to hope or Expect any preferment, and in that humble Station I have been left with no other Consolation then having performed my part with fidelity to my Country, amidst all the changes that have taken place, I have lately learnt sir, that Applications have been made to you in my favour for the Marshals Office of this district, but in that effort I have been unsuccessful not withstanding that, may I not yet hope sir, that if other Changes should take place that you will look Over those papers Once more, which have been handed to you, And if the Surveyors Office of this district should be vacated, that you will think of me, I have taken the liberty of naming that Office because I am som what Connected with It at present, & am acquainted with the duties of It, you will be plesed to pardon the liberty I have taken and

Believe me Respectfully

J Simonds

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Apr. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off.” Enclosure not found.

Jonas Simonds (d. 1816) was an inspector in the Philadelphia Custom House. He achieved the rank of captain in the Continental artillery during the Revolutionary War and later accepted the appointment of major in the Philadelphia militia, which earned him the enmity of his Federalist supervisors in the customhouse. On 8 July 1808, TJ appointed him colonel of infantry, a position he held until honorably discharged in June 1815. He died in St. Louis, on 13 July 1816 (James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory, City and County Register, for 1802 [Philadelphia, 1801], 221; Heitman, Dictionary description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 887; Heitman, Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1793, new ed., Washington, D.C., 1914 description ends , 497–8; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States… to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 2:100; Daily National Intelligencer, 6 Aug. 1816; Thomas Leiper to TJ, 26 Jan. 1806).

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