Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from James Monroe, 15 December 1790

From James Monroe

Phila. Decr. 15. 1790.

Dear Sir

I send you the letters mention’d last night, among which you will find two, from Mr. Fitzhugh and Mr. Page each, cover’d by one from the old gentleman his father recommendatory of young Mr. Mortimer. He is extremely anxious to have him admitted into your office and under your care. The young man appears to be amiable in temper and manner, sensible, prudent, and is well esteem’d among his acquaintance in these respects: but the two gentlemen who have mention’d him to you are better acquainted with his merit than I am, and to their subscription no addition will be requir’d from me. I told him it was probable the duties of your office had forc’d on you before this the disposition of appointments of this kind, so that altho he most earnestly wishes it yet he is in some measure prepar’d to receive a negative. With real esteem & regard I am sincerely yr. friend & servt.,

Jas. Monroe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received the same day, but recorded in SJL, along with enclosures, under 14 Dec. 1790. Enclosures: (1) Charles Mortimer to TJ Fredericksburg, 27 Nov. 1790: “I would not for any Consideration presume to trouble you with this address, or the Enclosed letters, were it not for my Sons Ardent desire and Inclination to be under your Patronage.—It was his Misfortune to grow up at and during the War, when we could not get proper Tutors to prepare him for a Learned profession therefore he was bound and bred to Mercantile Buisness under Messrs. Barclay Merchts in Phila. who will vouch for his character, good Moralls and Mild Disposition. And it was my Misfortune to loose by Depreciation some Considerable Debts by the War, and tho Even now I have a Capital due me by Bonds, to set him up in a Midling line, I can’t get paid without Distressing Gentlemen and compell sales which is Disagreeable to my feelings as money can’t be raised. Therefore if in your Department his Services Could only get a tolerable Maintenance and some Improvement it would make me happy.—My worthy friend Colo. Monroe is well acquainted with us, and can recommend him to your notice.—He has a knowledge of Accounts and something of the French language and with your Instruction be Usefull to you and himself. I am with profound Respect, Your Most Obt. Hble. Servt.” (RC in DCL: Applications for Office under Washington; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Dec. 1790). (2) William Fitzhugh to TJ Chatham, 15 Nov. 1790; recorded in SJL but not found. (3) Mann Page to TJ Mannsfield, 27 Nov. 1790, reading in part as follows: “My Friend and Neighbour Doctr. Mortimer has brought up his only son with much Attention to the mercantile Business‥‥ He is fearful that Want of Employment may beget Idleness and Dissipation; and is particularly desirous of placing him under your Patronage‥‥ I can venture to recommend him as a young Gentleman of docile Disposition, of amiable Manners, of Application to Business, and of moral Character” (RC in DLC: Applications for Office under Washington; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Dec. 1790).

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