Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 15 May 1804

To Wilson Cary Nicholas

Washington May 15. 1804.

Dear Sir

I arrived here the night before last. mr Gallatin being absent I enquired of mr Madison as to the commission of Collector, & found it had been forwarded to you at Warren by mr Gallatin. I found it too late also to enjoin secrecy, as, mr Gallatin not having intimated that, it had not been attended to. I am afraid I omitted to recommend this myself, altho’ it’s expediency was so obvious that it ought not to have escaped me. I hope however that your acceptance will render this omission unimportant. great efforts have been made to obtain this appointment for mr Newton junr. Bedinger has been opposed to this, tho absolutely refusing to be thought of himself for it. I mention this that you may understand what you may see and hear when on the spot. I am so lately here, and immersed in papers that I am able to give you no news. Accept my affectionate salutations.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); addressed: “Wilson C. Nicholas esq.” and “to be delivered to him at Richmond,” with the delivery instruction canceled and “to be sent to Norfolk. by mail” substituted in an unidentified hand; stamped; postmarked at Richmond. PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

forwarded to you: see Gallatin to TJ, 11 May (first letter).

great efforts have been made: on 5 May, Thomas Newton, Sr., noted that he was induced to write to the secretary of state “from the many solicitations & general wish that my Son” should succeed William Davies. He assured Madison that “it is the general wish of the people here that he may be appointed” (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 , 7:160). According to SJL, Newton also wrote to TJ directly on 6 Mch. and 5 May to recommend his son as collector at Norfolk. TJ received the letters on 13 Mch. and 14 May, respectively, but neither has been found.

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