Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 15 September 1814

From Horatio G. Spafford

Albany, 9 Mo. 15, 1814.

Esteemed Friend—

Events that have occurred since I last had the pleasure to write thee, have made it probable that I must defer my journey to Washington to a later period than October.

Grateful for thy past favors, I regret to give thee any further trouble. But, it appears to me that the removal of Doct. Thornton from the Patent Office, must follow now, as a thing of course. And in this view, my wishes bound, at once, to Washington, as his Successor. May I use the freedom to request of thee to Name my wishes to the President. The place would suit me exactly, & Administration would find me not ungrateful. A few days since I wrote the President, but did not then know of the conduct attributed to the Doctor, in the late disasters at the Capital. A man should have friends about himself. Had I known more about it, I would have suggested my wishes to the President.

The P.O. in this City, is yet in the hands to which Pickering gave it! I pray thee to accept renewed assurances of my most respectful regards. May I expect to hear from thee, on the above subject?

H. G. Spafford.

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 24 Sept. 1814 and so recorded in SJL.

William thornton asserted in the National Intelligencer that he had saved the federal patent office during the invasion and burning of Washington by convincing the British that it contained only private property. In response, Washington mayor James H. Blake defended his own actions and disputed Thornton’s heroic narrative (Washington National Intelligencer, 7, 9, 12 Sept. 1814). Spafford wrote to President James Madison on 13 Sept. 1814 expressing his unwillingness to join the military because of his Quaker beliefs (DLC: Madison Papers). George W. Mancius was in charge of the post office in this city.

Index Entries

  • Blake, James Heighe; mayor of Washington 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
  • Patent Office, U.S.; saved from British destruction search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Pickering, Timothy; as postmaster general search
  • Quakers; and military service search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; and J. Madison search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; Quaker beliefs of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; seeks appointment search
  • Thornton, William; as patent office superintendent search
  • War of1812; British destruction in Washington search
  • Washington (D.C.); British destruction in search