Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Meade, [25 March 1793]

From George Meade

[25 Mch. 1793]


Permit me to Recommend Mr. Blake to you, should you want a Person in your office, I know him well, or I would not undertake to give him this Recommendation, I would if it was thought necessary be his Security, to the Amount [of] One thousand Guineas. I am very Respectfully Sir Your devoted hble St.

Go. M[eade]

RC (DLC: Washington Papers, Applications for Office); undated; frayed at bottom; at foot of text: “[Honbe] Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; subjoined to brief note of James Blake to TJ, 25 Mch. 1793, from 177 Race Street in Philadelphia: “I beg leave to offer myself for the next vacancy for a clerk, that may happen in your Office”; mistakenly endorsed by TJ as received 23 Mch. 1793.

Blake did not receive a State Department clerkship during TJ’s tenure in office, but Meade’s willingness to commit himself to such a sizable sum as security must have impressed TJ, who later employed Blake as a confidential courier to the American commissioners in Spain (TJ to Blake, 12 July 1793). Blake also assisted TJ in his prolonged but ultimately successful efforts to acquire an edition of the letters of Cortés to Charles V on the conquest of New Spain (Blake to TJ, 6 June, 20 Oct., 8 Dec. 1795; TJ to Blake, 29 Feb. 1796).

Three letters exchanged by Meade and TJ between 19 May 1795 and 8 June 1795 are recorded in SJL but have not been found.

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