Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Say, 1 October 1807

Philada. October 1st: 1807 Evening

The Address of the Subscriber, a Citizen of, Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania—

After offering to you most honored and highly respected Sir, the unfeigned assurances of my unbounded affection; I take the liberty to offer myself as a Candidate for the Office of Collector of the Port of Philadelphia, as that office has now become vacant by the death of Peter Muhlenberg Esqr.—

It may perhaps be proper to mention, that I was born in the said City in the Year 1755; received my education, and resided most of my life therein; I have endeavored to conduct myself in such way, as I trust to merit and secure the estimation and confidence of my fellow citizens generally.—

At a time that tried men’s souls, in the fall of 1799, I was elected to a Seat in the Senate of this State, by my republican bretheren, and in order to attempt (with others) the revival and establishment of Republicanism, I was induced to sacrifise the emoluments of a handsome and lucrative practice in medicine, and took my seat accordingly; the end being accomplished, by bringing in the present worthy Administration of the United States, and in a measure reviving the latent sparks of republican freedom in this State, I declined after two years service; and gave place to a worthy successor.

I confidently believe that my republican principles, for which I have suffered much, have been uniformly correct, & I hope that it will not be considered as vanity to say, that I have been honored with a seat in the Select Council of this City for several Years.—

Permit me to mention that the worthy Mr. Madison has a knowledge of my person and character, and I do hereby most honored and highly respected Sir, very earnestly solicit the appointment of Collector of the Port of Philadelphia, and should I be thus honored, I will make use of my best endeavours to do credit to the appointment and fulfill the duties thereof with fidelity, and punctuality, and shall hold the great favor in the highest and most lasting remembrance.—

With every consideration of unequivocal attachment to Your Person and administration, permit me to subscribe

Truly Yours

Benjn: Say

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

Index Entries