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Thomas Jefferson’s Circular to Certain Republican Senators, 19 September 1811

Circular to Certain Republican Senators

Monticello Sep. 19. 11.

Dear Sir

The death of mr Mathers, Serjeant at arms to the Senate, is likely, I understand, to overwhelm you with sollicitations. each candidate will doubtless put into motion every lever he can employ. one of them, Joseph Dougherty, whom perhaps1 you knew while he lived with me in Washington, where he did my riding business, imagines I may serve him, by bearing testimony to his character. during the eight years he lived with me, I found him sober, honest, diligent & uncommonly intelligent in business: and I verily believe he will2 carry all these good qualities into the service of the Senate, without a single one that I know of to lessen their value. his political principles too, which are perfectly correct,3 are not a matter of indifference in the choice of that officer. I know that your justice will weigh him in a fair balance with his competitors, and if you find him nothing wanting, it will give me real satisfaction that the lot should fall on him. the religious duty I feel of being useful to the future fortunes of one who was so long a faithful member of my family must apologise for the trouble I give you in4 reading this, and it is quickened by the occasion it presents of tendering you assurances of my continued esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (CSmH: JF); addressed: “The honble Genl John Smith of the Senate of the US.”; franked. RC (ViHi); addressed: “The honble Thomas Worthington of the Senate of the US.”; endorsed by Worthington, in part, as “recomme[n]ding Doherty as doorke[e]per.” FC (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand, with his list of addressees in left margin: “Mr Varnum J. Smith N.Y. Gregg, Leib. Condit Lambert S. Smith Mar. Giles Brent Worthington Pope Anderson Franklin Turner Crawford”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to “Varnum et al.” and so recorded in SJL. TJ prepared this circular for William H. Crawford (Georgia), Jesse Franklin and James Turner (North Carolina), Joseph Anderson (Tennessee), Richard Brent and William Branch Giles (Virginia), John Pope (Kentucky), Samuel Smith (Maryland), Thomas Worthington (Ohio), Andrew Gregg and Michael Leib (Pennsylvania), John Condit and John Lambert (New Jersey), John Smith (New York), and Joseph Varnum (Massachusetts). Eleven copies enclosed in TJ to Joseph Dougherty, 19 Sept. 1811, one copy enclosed in Dougherty to TJ, 10 Mar. 1817, and two copies enclosed in TJ to Dougherty, 23 Mar. 1817.

1RC to Worthington and FC: “possibly.”

2FC: “would.”

3RC to Worthington: “perfectly sound.” FC: “sound.”

4RC to Worthington and FC: “of.”

Index Entries

  • Anderson, Joseph; as U.S. senator search
  • Anderson, Joseph; letters to search
  • Brent, Richard; letters to search
  • Condit, John; as U.S. senator search
  • Condit, John; letters to search
  • Crawford, William Harris; letters to search
  • Crawford, William Harris; U.S. senator search
  • Dougherty, Joseph; seeks Senate doorkeeper appointment search
  • Franklin, Jesse; as U.S. senator search
  • Franklin, Jesse; letters to search
  • Giles, William Branch; as U.S. senator search
  • Giles, William Branch; letters to search
  • Gregg, Andrew; as U.S. senator search
  • Gregg, Andrew; letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation from search
  • Lambert, John; as U.S. senator search
  • Lambert, John; letters to search
  • Leib, Michael; as U.S. senator search
  • Leib, Michael; letters to search
  • Mathers, James; death of search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation from TJ search
  • Pope, John; as U.S. senator search
  • Pope, John; letters to search
  • Smith, John (1752–1816); as U.S. senator search
  • Smith, John (1752–1816); letters to search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); as U.S. senator search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Maryland); letters to search
  • Turner, James; as U.S. senator search
  • Turner, James; letters to search
  • Varnum, Joseph Bradley; as U.S. senator search
  • Varnum, Joseph Bradley; letters to search
  • Worthington, Thomas; as U.S. senator search
  • Worthington, Thomas; letters to search