Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1815

From Horatio G. Spafford

Albany, 11 Mo. 18, 1815.

Esteemed friend—

A few weeks of ill health have confined me to the house, & prevented my correcting the proofs for the Magazine. Thou wilt find an interesting Biography of Baron Steuben, written by General William North, one of the Baron’s Aids. The General does not wish to be publicly known as the writer. He is a distinguished Federalist, & was lately Speaker of our Assembly. I have a Letter from Count Volney, from which I shall publish an extract. It is dated at Paris, Aug. 21. Poor France!

May I entreat of thee a favor? The Post Master in this city, who was appointed about a year Since, is just gone of a consumption. I never had an Office, & I am very anxious to get this, which will Soon be vacated by death. I am poor, having lately lost several thousand dollars, by the failure of a house in this city. It would be in thy power to aid me very much, by only intimating thy wishes. May I entreat of thee to ask for me a favor of the P.M. General? or of the President? I really think myself entitled to consideration, & I know how to be grateful. I should like, particularly, to be indebted to Col. Monroe, for his aid in obtaining for me this office. I flatter myself that I have been a useful Citizen, & that I could serve the Republic in some office that might aid in the support of a numerous family. Pray favor me with thy consideration, & as much of thy interest in my behalf, as may Seem to thee proper. Pardon this freedom, urged by the pressure of adverse events, & believe me to be, with the highest esteem, thy friend,

H. G. Spafford.

RC (DLC: James Madison Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 15 Dec. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to James Madison, 22 Dec. 1815. Enclosure: American Magazine, a monthly miscellany, vol. 1, no. 5 (Oct. 1815).

The post master of Albany was Peter P. Dox, who died on 21 Nov. 1815 (Albany Daily Advertiser, 23 Nov. 1815). The postmaster general was Return J. Meigs (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ).

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

  I mention this circumstance, because that in doing justice to thyself, & some others, he has not followed the fashion of his party.

Index Entries

  • American Magazine; edited by H. G. Spafford search
  • Dox, Peter P.; as Albany postmaster search
  • Dox, Peter P.; death of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and H. G. Spafford search
  • Meigs, Return Jonathan (ca.1765–1825); as postmaster general search
  • Monroe, James; and appointments search
  • North, William; and party politics search
  • North, William; biography of F. W. von Steuben by search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; and J. Madison search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; as editor ofAmerican Magazine search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; seeks appointment search
  • Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm von; biography of search
  • Volney, Constantin François Chasseboeuf, comte de; publication of correspondence of search