Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Spencer Roane, 11 December 1808

Richmond, Decr. 11th. 1808.


The reverend Wm. Dawson of this Place, is desirous to obtain from the Government, the office of Chaplain to one of the regiments; & wishes me to write you a Letter in his favour. Knowing how much you are engaged in the most arduous Duties, I have taken the liberty, as it relates to you, with reluctance: you can, however, at once turn over the letter to the proper Department.

I have known Mr. Dawson many years, & beleive him to be a man of unimpeachable moral character: He is of the Baptist persuasion, & strongly partakes of that love of liberty which characterises the society of which he is a member: He has long been a staunch friend of republicanism, & the principles of the present administration: He has also grown in years, has a family to support, & is rather needy; so that the office he solicits wd. be useful to him; and I do suppose him to be competent to discharge the duties thereof. With sentiments of the utmost Consideration & respect, I have the Honour to be, Sir, yr. mo: obt. Servt.

Spencer Roane

Dec: 12. 1808.

I have known the Reverend William Dawson for six or seven years during which time he has resided in Richmond & I concur perfectly in the opinions expressed by Mr Roane & should be gratified at his succeeding in the appointment he has in view

Philip Norborne Nicholas

Richmond Decbr the 12h 1808

I have known the Rev’d Mr William Dawson for many years before he resided in Richmond and when he was an inhabitant of Loudoun County during that period he was a zealous and an active Republican and his general deportment as far as it came within my knowledge in every respect corresponded with the Character which Mr Roan & Mr Nicholas have given here

Rich’d Brent

Richmond December 14. 1808.

I certainly concur in the character, given by Messrs. Roane, Nicholas and Brent, to the Reverend William Dawson; having known him personally for six or seven years.

Edm: Randolph

Decemr. 26. 1808.

I know Mr. Dawson some years ago when he was a resident of the county of Spotsylvania and do believe the foregoing character to be his true one—

J Dawson

PHi: Daniel Parker Papers.

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