Richmond Octr. 4th. 1807
Although extremely unwilling to intrude upon your precious time, or to call off your attention from the great concerns in which you are engaged, to the afairs of an obscure individual, being only a Sergeant in the Army of the United States; Yet my present dangerous situation, produced by the evidence which my duty compelled me to deliver in the case of Mr. Burr, will justify me in seeking for your protection against the opression with which I have been menaced in consequence of that evidence.
The substance of my testimony has been published and I presume has reached your eye, and although I am conscious that it contains nothing but strict truth, which my oath obliged me to deliver, yet as some parts of it appear to affect Captain Bissel, who is my superior officer, he has threatened me with severe punishment, which I have no doubt but he will inflict whenever I am within his power or influence. Under these aprehensions I have written to the Secretary at War, requesting my discharge from the service on condition of my providing a suitable person to supply my place, should I fail in this Application, my situation will be extremely perilous; and I do most firmly believe that my life will be in great danger from the resentment of Capt. Bissel or some others under his influence. But I should not be aprehensive of any danger in continuing in the service for the remainder of my time, which is little more than two years, provided I could be so stationed that I should be constantly within the immediate protection of the Government.
I have thus Sir, stated to you my present situation and Aprehensions, fully satisfied that it is suficient for you to know them in order to my procuring the relief or protection which may be the most proper in the case.
With Humble respect Your Obt Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.