Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Tompson Skinner, 28 April 1807

Boston 28th. April 1807


I have A firm persuasion that the Selection of the most Suitable Characters—to fill the Offices throughtout the United must be A Difficult And arduous Duty, And that the Officious representations of Individuals very often encrease the difficulty, I have therefore Usually Felt A great delicacy in communicating any Opinion on those Subjects. On the one that I am now About to Address you, feel A strong belief that I am Correct, For eight or ten months past, it has been considered throughout the State. that I was About to Leave the Marshals office. And I believe all The Candidates that have or will Apply for that Appointment by Themselves or Friends have communicated with me on that Subject—have weighed their various pretensions with great Attentions, And confered with the princepal Gentlemen in this vicinity And in every County in the State. And the result seems nearly Unanimous. that Mr James Prince of Boston is the Most Elegeble Candidate. Indeed I heard but one Objection. And that by A close Friend of Another Candidate—viz—That Mr. Prince had more wealth—And business than Some of the Other Candidates—this in my opinion is an Argument in favor of his Appointment. The emoluments of the Office Since I have Served has not exceeded—five hundred Dollars per Annum. And for A Single Gentleman to Live in this Town. in the State. Considered Eligable for Marshal will Amount to fifteen hundred Dollars at Least—And it would Therefore in my opinion be ruinous for A Gentleman without fortune to move here For expectation that the Fees in the Marshals buseniss would Support Him—Mr Prince had rather fill this. than an office with more Business And more pay—He has been very Liberal industrious And usefull in promoting the Common cause in which he Early Engaged—it is merely Solicited that his pretensions may be examined with the other Candidates—And if from all the evidence you may possess you shall be satisfied of the propriety of the measure he may be Appointed

Permit me to congratulate you on the fortunate Issue of our State Elections And the prospect of soon having A Republican Executive And Legislature in Massachusetts—to Attain this State of things has been A work of time And Labor—But I flatter myself that the change although Gradual—has been from principle Growing out of reflection—And that in future Massachusetts may be considered A Strong pillar in the Political Edefice—

with the highest Sentiments of Esteem And Respect I am Sir Your Obdt Servant

Tompson J Skinner

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

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