Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Joseph Dougherty to Thomas Jefferson, 10 March 1817

From Joseph Dougherty

Washington City Mar. 10th 1817

Dear Sir

During the late session of congress Mr Timms, the assistant doorkeeper to the Senate became so frequently intoxicated that the Senate came to a resolution to elect another in his place.1 the resolution however, was laid on the table, and kept as a rod over him the remaining part of the session.

I was an applicant for his place, and put my papers in the hands of Gov. Barbour where they remained till near the close of the session.

I requested of Gov. B. by note to send them to me. He inclosed them, directed them to me, and gave them to Timms, Timms gave them to the messenger—who also was an applicant. They are lost, and have reason to blive, wilfully destroyd

As these documents were of infinite value to me, particularly the letter from you, recommending me to the office of Sergeant at arms. That letter, in your hand writing, directed to the Honble Mr Lambert of N. J. is lost, or, destroyd

You will verry much oblige me sir, by renewing2 it. inclosed is a copy of one sent to J. B. V. which you left open for my perusal.

Your Humble Servt

Jos Dougherty

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 20 Mar. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Patrick Gibson, 25 May 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esqr Late President of the U States Monticello Va”; franked; postmarked.

The United States Senate passed a resolution to appoint an assistant doorkeeper on 30 Dec. 1816. It voted on 25 Feb. 1817 to allow Charles Tims (timms) “one hundred dollars for his attendance during the present session” (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 6:71, 304). In TJ’s Circular to Certain Republican Senators, 19 Sept. 1811, enclosed in his letter to Dougherty of the same date, he recommended Dougherty for the office of sergeant at arms. Enclosed above was a copy of the text TJ sent to Joseph Bradley Varnum (j. b. v.).

1Manuscript: “plac.”

2Manuscript: “rewewing.”

Index Entries

  • Barbour, James; as governor of Va. search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; letters from search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; seeks Senate doorkeeper appointment search
  • Lambert, John; as U.S. senator search
  • Senate, U.S.; doorkeeper election search
  • Tims, Charles; as assistant U.S. Senate doorkeeper search
  • Varnum, Joseph Bradley; as U.S. senator search