Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Gassaway, 13 October 1806

Annapolis October 13th. 1806.


The death of Mr. Purviance the late Collector of the Port of Baltimore having created a Vacancy in a very important Office, I am led by a Variety of considerations to solicit the appointment from You,— Of my Capacity to discharge the duties of that Office, It will be unnecessary for me to state; as I will refer You to Gabriel Duvall Esqr. with whom I have been long personally acquainted, and if I possess any claim from personal Merit or Services, it might be urged with greater propriety by any other rather than myself;—My reasons for desiring to quit the Office of Register of Wills for this County, which has long since been conferred on me, and to solicit another, can only be explained by myself, long experience under the most rigid Oeconomy has convinced me, that the emoluments of the Office I now hold, are barely sufficient for the scanty support, and cannot possibly afford a provision for a large and increasing family.—

The early part of my life pass’d in the American Army during the Revolutionary War, and succeeded by a constant application to the duties of an Office, such as I have describ’d, was not calculated to afford any provision for the increasing wants of advanced life,—To provide further, and to Educate and introduce a young family as the Children of an old Officer, when Military and Civil Life he hopes have pass’d without stain or imputation, are the objects now nearest my heart, and have therefore rendered me an applicant for the appointment of Collector of the Port of Baltimore.—

With the highest respect and Consideration I have the honor to be Your Obt. Servt.

Jno. Gassaway

DNA: RG 59—LAR—Letters of Application and Recommendation.

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