Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Jared Mansfield, 18 July 1803

To Jared Mansfield

Washington July 18. 1803.


Since the reciept of your favor of the 7th. inst. I have had a full conversation with mr Gallatin, and find that the rigorous rules of the treasury oppose insurmountable obstacles to the wishes I entertained in your favor. he shews me that by their rules, the expences of your journey here cannot be repaid, your salary cannot begin till that of your predecessor ends, which will be on your recieving or demanding the papers of the office, and that no advance can be made under the head of salary. there is no doubt but that in 99. cases in 100. these rules are proper, and it is only to be regretted that the obligation to adhere to rule in all cases, disables us from doing what would be right in some. mr Gallatin thinks you mistook him in supposing he would not advance money for instruments. on the contrary he will answer your draught for that purpose for a sum to be in your hands on account, and it may be such a sum as will not only pay for the instruments but enable you to proceed on your journey with the surplus1 of that money, to be2 placed to your debit in your future account of salary. he said for instance that he should consider your draught for 800. D. on account of the purchase of instruments as a justifiable advance on his part. while this proves a desire to accomodate you as far as is practicable, it will suggest the propriety of considering it as mentioned for your own information only, as it might in uncandid hands be injuriously perverted. I set off tomorrow for Monticello to be here again on the 25th of September. I shall sign & leave your commission with mr Gallatin who will proceed in a few days to New York to make some stay there. Accept my friendly salutations & assurances of great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjP: Andre De Coppet Collection); addressed: “Capt Jared Mansfield Westpoint N.Y.”; franked and postmarked. PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Mansfield’s favor of the 7th. inst. inquired about the reimbursement of expenses incurred relating to his recent appointment as surveyor general.

i set off tomorrow: TJ left Washington on 19 July and arrived at Monticello on the 22d. The journey included a visit to the springs in Louisa County, where he met Mary Jefferson Eppes and John Wayles Eppes. TJ’s travel expenses totaled $14.67 (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 , 2:1105; TJ to John Strode, 9 July 1803; TJ to Richard Morris, 29 Aug. 1803).

1Word interlined.

2TJ here canceled “allowed.”

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