Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 24 April 1814

From Horatio G. Spafford

Albany, 4 Mo. 24, 1814.

Respected Friend—

Detained by some business, beyond the time that I assigned in my last, I think proper to inform thee, & that I still am preparing to go to Washington, & to see thee, as I informed thee before. In the mean time, I presume to trouble thee with a solicitation in behalf of some interest I wish to make at Washington. The present Post-Master of this city, is a most worthy man, my intimate friend. From him I have just learnt that I have been named at Washington, as his Successor. Doct. Mancius has long held the office, & though he does not wish to decline a reappointment, I believe he expects not to be continued. There are 2 other Candidates—Allen, & Dox, both young & active, capable men, & warm & zealous political partizans, friends of the administration. Dox is a batchelor, in trade, & rich enough; Allen is getting rich very fast, by a kind of broker’s business, & as a trader. With these, I am willing to compete, but not on the same ground. Let the public decide, & I will be satisfied. But—they have probably made interest by long lists of names, & party friendships—I have only said that I wish the office. But I have also said that if names are necessary, I will engage to get as much of popular weight & weight of character as they can, if necessary. May I ask thy friendly regards? & be excused for the trouble I give thee? Really, I cannot see why I may not enjoy some official favor, as well as others. I have done as much, & can do as much, as these, for my country—& I pray thee to aid me with an expression of thy good wishes in this matter.

I learn that the Vice-President wishes my appointment, & that is all I have learnt about it. I have written to the President, & to the Post-Master General, soliciting the appointment; but have no Knowledge how they stand disposed. Will thy goodness excuse my solicitude, & my importunities, & extend a hand to Washington for my aid! That hand would not be extended in vain, nor its favors ill bestowed: Nor would the Administration cherish for nought.

Conscious that I trouble thee too often, I will be brief this time. Should my life & health be spared, I shall probably leave here for the South within 10 or 15 days. My Mechanical combinations are in readiness, & I go to offer thee, first of all, a discovery that rests yet solely with myself, & which I deem of vast importance. My Wife desires to join me in a very respectful assurance of high esteem, with devout wishes for thy health & happiness. Thy grateful friend,

Horatio Gates Spafford.

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 7 May 1814 and so recorded in SJL.

Peter P. dox succeeded George W. Mancius as postmaster at Albany (Joseph Fry, The Annual Register, and Albany Directory, for the year 1815 [1815], 40). The vice-president was Elbridge Gerry. No letters have been found from Spafford to president James Madison or to post-master general Return J. Meigs seeking appointment as Albany postmaster.

Index Entries

  • Allen, Solomon; seeks postmastership search
  • Dox, Peter P.; as Albany postmaster search
  • Gerry, Elbridge (1744–1814); as vice president search
  • inventions; of H. G. Spafford search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James; and H. G. Spafford search
  • Mancius, George W.; as postmaster of Albany search
  • Meigs, Return Jonathan (ca.1765–1825); as postmaster general search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Spafford, Elizabeth Clark Hewitt (Horatio G. Spafford’s wife); sends greetings to TJ search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; and J. Madison search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; family of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; inventions of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; seeks appointment search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; visits Washington search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; wishes to visit TJ search