Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Caspar Wistar, 25 February 1807

Washington Feb. 25. 07.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 19th. has been recieved, as was a former one proposing mr Hassler to be employed in the survey of the coast. I have heard so much good of him as to feel a real wish that he may find the emploiment of a nature to which his physical constitution & habits may be equal. I doubt it. in yielding this as to mr Hassler, I transgress a principle I have considered as important in making appointments. the foreigners who come to reside in this country, bring with them an almost universal expectation of office. I recieve more applications from them than would fill all the offices of the US. yet whether we consider the natural rights of the native citizen, his knolege of the affairs of his country, or the superior reliance on his attachments, the trusts of every country are safest in it’s native citizens. it is true there are some emploiments which scarcely involve at all the question of the love of country, and into which meritorious foreigners & of peculiar qualifications may sometimes be introduced. such is the present case; but it could not be extended to the second object you name.    you will find by another letter that I propose a different channel than that of Dr. Goforth to obtain the bones wanted. I am assured on undoubted authority that he is under great disqualifications for the office, & that interested views would lead him to abuse the permission we ask from mr Ross, and to compromit the good faith & honor of the society in the use which ought to be made of the permission. accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of the greatest esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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