Washington Mar. 8. 06
I return you the drawings of M. Godefroi, which certainly prove him to possess fine talents in that way. in a letter to mr Madison lately he has expressed something like disappointment at not recieving from me an answer to a letter he wrote me. that letter was a tender of his services in some emploiment analogous to his talents in the first place you know our situation well enough to know we have no employ for talents in the engineering line or indeed in any military line. in the next, a moment’s reflection should convince any one that I can never answer a letter concerning offices; because no answer can be written to any such letter, either affirmative or negative which may not commit one in some way. with me therefore the answer is always to be read in what is done or not done. perhaps you may have an opportunity of explaining this to him, and making him sensible that my silence does not proceed from a want of respect to him, but to the laws of my situation. Accept my friendly salutations & assurances of great esteem & respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.