From Robert Lawson
[11 June 1801]
[…] to fear cannot be well d[…] in any sh[…] And when I reflect that the hot Season is at hand all but; and that if this opportunity cannot be improv’d, I probably may not get such another as to the Attendant, added to my declining State of health:—I have for these, to me weighty and affecting considerations been constain’d with reluctance, I candidly confess, to apply Sir, once more to your benevolent mind:—confidently trusting, you will pity the necessity which impells me to it. Knowing your long friendship and intimacy with Mr. Madison Secretary of State, and being at present without as much paper as to address him by a separate Letter will you be so good Sir, as to do me the honor of communicating my case to him with my best and respectfull wishes.1 Whatever may be charitably contributed I wish may be plac’d in Major DuVals hands, for the above special purpose.
Accept of my ardent prayers for your Individual Prosperity, and that of your Administration—and with lively Sentiments of Gratitude and respect—I have the honor to be—Dear S[ir] Your much obligd Servt.
RC (ViW); undated fragment; torn; addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson President of The United States”; also on address sheet in Lawson’s hand: “by post to the City of Washington”; franked; postmarked Richmond, “June [12?].” This is probably the letter of 11 June 1801 from Robert Lawson recorded in SJL as received 19 June and enclosed in James Monroe to TJ, 16 June.
Robert Lawson (ca. 1748–1805), a Prince Edward County, Virginia, attorney and businessman, rose to military prominence in the American Revolution when he served in the Fourth Virginia militia, attained the rank of brigadier general, and played a critical role in the defense of Virginia during TJ’s governorship. He served in the General Assembly as a Prince Edward County delegate during and after the war and became deputy attorney general for Virginia after 1785. He moved to Kentucky in 1789 but returned to Richmond later in life (Herbert Clarence Bradshaw, History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, from Its Earliest Settlements through Its Establishment in 1754 to Its Bicentennial Year [Richmond, 1955], 51, 123, 359, 634, 682; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 113, 115, 118, 130, 138, 147, 150, 166, 174; William J. Van Schreeven and Robert L. Scribner, comps., Revolutionary Virginia, The Road to Independence, 7 vols. [Charlottesville, 1973–83], 2:345–6; Salem Register, 15 Apr. 1805; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 1:509; Vol. 4:459–62, 616–8, 629–30; Vol. 16:228; Vol. 29:520).
1. Preceding six words interlined.