Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Jackson, 31 January 1789

Philadelphia January 31. 1789.

Dear Sir,

In answering a correspondence, which was at once my pleasure and my boast, I will not wrong my belief of your goodness by offering an apology for the freedom I am now about to use, nor will I presume to bespeak your regard by making any pretensions to public favor—The one, and the other, will be more properly referred to the graciousness of your disposition towards me, and to the knowledge which observation may have afforded you of my character and conduct.

A predilection for public life has determined me to wish for such a situation under the federal government as may lead to the acquirement of political knowledge in an honorable walk—and the advice of my particular friends has pointed to the secretary-ship of the Senate, as the most eligible station on which I may presume to place a hope of success—Excuse me when I add, as my firm belief, that the votes of the Electors, on wednesday next, will furnish an additional and strong inducement to my wishes of attaining this object, as it may conciliate the discharge of public duties, with the renewal of a private friendship, which has ever engaged my most respectful attachment and esteem.

Persuaded of the weight which your recommendation must carry with it to the Gentlemen who are appointed Senators, I beg leave to commit my wishes to your patronageµShould you regard my request as consistent with your governing principle the public-good.

I am aware of the competition which may arise in the pursuit of this object: but my hopes are greatly strengthened when I flatter myself that a Friend as influential and favorably inclined towards me, as Mr. Adams, may find himself at liberty to countenance my wish: indeed I am almost assured of success with those Gentlemen, whom your recommendation may reach before the Congress is convened.— In every event I am certain that you will excuse a freedom, which confidence in your goodness could alone have induced.

With the most respectful attachment, / I am, my dear Sir, / your obliged and obedient Servant

W. Jackson

MHi: Adams Papers.

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