Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Eston Randolph to Thomas Jefferson, 29 January 1816

From Thomas Eston Randolph

Ashton 29th Jany 1816

Dear Sir

The last Mail brought me a letter from my Son Mann, which has given me considerable uneasiness—he informs me, that he has ever had an aversion to Mercantile pursuits, and although he has endeavour’d to conquer it, he finds it impossible, and that his mind is possitively bent on entering the Navy—The object of this address, is to ask the favor of you to give him a letter to the President to obtain for him a Midshipman’s warrant, he is extreemly desirous to be attach’d to the Washington 74, commanded by Commodore Chauncey, as he earnestly wishes to be in active service, and he is inform’d that she goes to the Mediterranean to be station’d there for eighteen months, or two years—

I should have waited on you to make this application in person, but I am suffering under a severe attack of Rheumatism, and I dread wetting my feet in crossing the river—With sentiments of great respect and esteem I am Dr sir

Your mo: Obdt Servt

Thos Eston Randolph

It has occurr’d to me Sir, that an application to Mr Madison for a warrant, and if obtained—if it was forwarded to him at Baltimore, it will save him the expence of a trip to Washington, and also considerable expence in his equipment, which I apprehend he can effect much better at Baltimore than the City—As I am unacquainted with Etiquette in such cases, I must depend on your friendly offices—and the only apology I can offer for thus troubling you, is the great anxiety I feel for my Son’s future welfare—

(address Thos Mann Randolph Baltimore)


RC (MHi); dateline between signature and postscript; endorsed by TJ as received 29 Jan. 1816 and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Mann Randolph (1798–1835), naval officer, was the son of TJ’s cousin Thomas Eston Randolph. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman on 30 May 1816, resigned on 28 May 1822, and subsequently served in the merchant marine and in the United States Revenue Marine. Randolph moved to Florida in 1833 and was appointed inspector of the federal land office for Florida and Alabama. He died in Key West (Robert Isham Randolph, The Randolphs of Virginia [1936], 107; Callahan, U.S. Navy description begins Edward W. Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900, 1901, repr. 1969 description ends , 452; Randolph Whitfield and John Chipman, The Florida Randolphs, 1829–1978 [2d ed., 1987], 58, 59; Shackelford, Descendants description begins George Green Shackelford, ed., Collected Papers … of the Monticello Association of the Descendants of Thomas Jefferson, 1965–84, 2 vols. description ends , 1:177; American Beacon and Norfolk and Portsmouth Daily Advertiser, 29 Sept. 1835).

Index Entries

  • Chauncey, Isaac; as U.S. Navy commodore search
  • health; rheumatism search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); applications to search
  • Navy Department, U.S.; applications to search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Randolph, Thomas Eston (TJ’s cousin); and naval appointment for son search
  • Randolph, Thomas Eston (TJ’s cousin); health of search
  • Randolph, Thomas Eston (TJ’s cousin); letters from search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1798–1835) (son of TJ’s cousin Thomas Eston Randolph); identified search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1798–1835) (son of TJ’s cousin Thomas Eston Randolph); naval appointment for search
  • rheumatism; T. E. Randolph’s search
  • Washington, USS search