Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Arthur Lee, 5 April 1804

From Arthur Lee

Norfolk April 5th 1804

Dear Sir

It has been suggested to me that it is the intention of the Executive to remove Col Davies from the office of collector of the Customs for this port—if such a measure be in contemplation I take the liberty to request your friendly inter position in behalf of my father, it would be improper in me to say any thing of his claims or his qualifications for the office, your long acquaintance with him will best enable you decide whether or not he possesses the necessary qualifications. This application is made by me without his knowledge, nor do I believe that but for some recent misfortunes which have swept away, in a moment, the hard earnings of his laborious industry, it would ever have been made with his consent. I hope, Sir, you will excuse the liberty I have taken and will duly appropriate the motives which have influenced my conduct—

I am Dr Sr your’s With Respect

Arthur Lee

RC (MHi).

Arthur Lee (1779-1828), son of Richard Evers Lee of Norfolk, attended the College of William and Mary. He represented Norfolk County in the Virginia Assembly from 1801 to 1805 and again from 1821 to 1824, and became the colonel of a regiment (WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892- description ends , 2d ser., 17 [1937], 525-6; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619-January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 224, 228, 232, 236, 310, 315, 320; Daily National Intelligencer, 17 Jan. 1828). In 1801, Monroe introduced young Lee to TJ (see Vol. 35:354-5).

my father: in October 1803, Richard E. Lee resigned his commission as bankruptcy commissioner at Norfolk (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 39 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 11 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 8 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 3 vols. description ends , 5:587; Vol. 40:580, 581n).

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