Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Coalter, 3 July 1801

From John Coalter

Staunton July 3rd 1801—


I have not yet obtain,d a Judgt. for you against Clark, but from the appearance of our Docket have no doubt but I will get one at August Term—

When I last saw you you did me the honor to consult me about the appointment of a Marshal in this District—

I then mentioned a gentleman by the name of Caruthers who I thought in point of Character & property would have been a respectable appointment—after my return I found that two young men in Rockbridge County of very respectable families & of good deportment wished the appointment—Viz. Mr. Joseph Grigsby1 & Mr. John Alexander—I had thought of them both when I saw you—Mr. Grigsby would have been my choice as an active man & well acquainted with Business having served with great credit as a Sheriff in that County some years ago, but having been in the late provisional army I did not know how he stood as to politics—I have since enquired & am creditably inform,d that he hath stood that ordeal & is firmly attached to Republican principles—Mr. Alexander I had thought too young—however I have since discovered that he is of age—also well acquainted with business being now concerned in the collection of the U.S. Taxes & of high respectability—

Finding that the appointment has not been fill,d up—Hearing also, if it was, that some Business either of a public or private nature would probably be instituted in that Court, and believing that either of these appointments would be more satisfactory perhaps than the Gentleman I before mentioned, I have been induced thus far to trespass upon you—

With assurances that my best wishes attend you, both politically & personally I remain your obliged Friend & Huml Servt

John Coalter

RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr City of Washington”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received 9 July and so recorded in SJL.

Judgt. for you against clark: in 1801 Coalter obtained a judgment against Samuel Clarke, who owed TJ money for nails from TJ’s nailery. TJ retained Coalter to collect the money in September 1799 (Vol. 31:192).

1Coalter here added in the left margin: “*Grigsby is recommended by J. Monroe, also Robt. Mc.Lanahan.”

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