From Thomas Munroe
Washington 24th August 1802
I have the honor of enclosing a Letter which I yesterday received from Mr Nicholas King.—
The Commissioners have always heretofore appointed the Surveyors by Letter, or by entry in the minutes of their proceedings, but in case Mr Kings proposition respecting Salary shall be acceded to, a short Letter of appointment from the President would, I have reason to believe, be more agreeable to him than if it were otherwise conferred, and if there be no objections to his being gratified it will be quite as agreeable to me as any other mode of appointment.—
I have the honor to be with the most respectful consideration Sir Yr Obt Servt
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. Dft (DNA: RG 42, LR). Tr (MHi: Adams Papers). Enclosure: Nicholas King to Munroe, 23 Aug. 1802, making observations on “that part of the Presidents Letter you shewed me” and explaining his current situation and engagements; for the past two years, King has declined leaving Washington or accepting other work so that he could be on hand to provide his surveying services “if required on the dissolution of the Board of Commissioners by Congress,” at which time he expected a permanent plan of the city to be made, the commissioners’ accounts closed, the gradation of the streets completed, and a “general revision of what had been done in the Offices entered upon”; when the dissolution finally took place, however, King believes that the state of city affairs was misrepresented to Congress and the president, and “Whatever service it was believed could be rendered by my going into that employ, might have been overstated”; to support himself and his family, King accepted an appointment in the Treasury Department as clerk to the register of lands for the Northwest Territory at an annual salary of $800; he has also earned an additional $200 to $300 annually “by Mapping, and such other employment in the mornings, and evenings, as I have heretofore had”; King will cheerfully accept an appointment by the president as city surveyor “with such a compensation, as that I shall be no loser by the change”; King plans to retain his current clerkship until 1 Oct., and in the interim will attend to laying off city lots “and such other most immediately necessary duties, as may prevent any material injury to the City arising until the end of the Quarter, or the President’s determination is known”; in a postscript, King adds that if he quits his current office, it would be proper to provide notice so that the “public service may not suffer” (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ). Tr enclosed in Roger C. Weightman to John Quincy Adams, 23 May 1827.