Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Judd, 14 December 1801

From William Judd

Farmington in Connecticut Decr. 14th 1801


I was born and Educated in the State of Connecticut, I have served my Country as an Officer in the Late revolutionary Warr, I am by profession an attorney and Counsellor at Law, I have seen the whole of the late revolution & the strugles of my Country for Independance, have Never withdrawn my Aid

The best part of my life is past, I was born July 10th 1743, I Love my Country its Constitution & Government—& because I differ in Politics & am an Advocate for the equal rights of Man, I can have expectations from my Native State, I still possess my Powers of mind unimpared, and Should gratefully Accept any Appointment under the General Government, that is honourable, & that will ensure a competency to ease down the Evening of Life

a professional imployment would best Accord with my Wishes—Habituated to command have the Vanity to beleive I might beneficially Administer some Government in the Gift of the President if any are Vacant, or fill a place in the Judiciary—This Communication from a Stranger may possebly be considered rude by some but that frankness which becomes a Republican I presume will not be considered as disrespectfull by the President of these States; for republican Integrety scorns Adulation—I hope and beleive I shall be pardoned while I feel & express, the frankness of A Soldier and the dignety of A Citizen, determined to be free dutifull and Obedient—My Person my Character & Talents are fully known to my friend Mr. Granger Post Master General, Ephraim Kirby Esqr. Supervisor of Connecticut and to all the Republican Citizens of Connecticut—I fear no Scrutiny If the president in his goodness should in any degree favour my Wishes Any communication to the Post Master General will I fancy reach me without delay—

I have the honour to be with high Consideration Your Excellencys most Obedt. & very humble Servant

William Judd

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “His Excellency Thos. Jefferson Esqr. President of the American States”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Dec. and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “office.”

During the Revolutionary War, William Judd (1743–1804) served as a major in the Connecticut militia, then as a captain in the Continental army. A graduate of Yale and former state legislator, he was described by Gideon Granger as a steadfast Republican and a “respectable but not a great Lawyer,” who lost his life’s savings speculating in Georgia land. He was among the “respectable republicans in Connecticut” recommended to TJ by John C. Ogden, and he also signed the 11 June 1801 letter to Levi Lincoln that urged the removal of Federalists from office in the state. TJ appointed Judd a commissioner of bankruptcy for Connecticut in December 1802 (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 , 326; Dexter, Yale description begins Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History, New York, 1885–1912, 6 vols. description ends , 3:25–7; TJ to Ephraim Kirby, 10 Dec. 1802; Judd to Gideon Granger, 5 Jan. 1804, in DNA: RG 59, LAR; Vol. 31:74n; Vol. 34:344n).

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