Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Edmund Pendleton, [ca. 30 June 1776]

To Edmund Pendleton

[ca. 30 June 1776]

Honble. Sir

I this day received information that the Convention had been pleased to reappoint me to the office in which I have now the honor to be serving them and through you must beg leave to return them my sincere thanks for this mark of their continued confidence. I am sorry the situation of my domestic affairs renders it indispensably necessary that I should sollicit the substitution of some other person here in my room. The delicacy of the house will not require me to enter minutely into the private causes which render this necessary: I trust they will be satisfied I would not have urged it again were it not necessary. I shall with chearfulness continue in duty here till the expiration of our year by which time I hope it will be convenient for my successor to attend.

Dft (DLC). The addressee’s name is derived from internal evidence: the letter was clearly written to Pendleton in his official status as president of the Virginia Convention.

The date may be satisfactorily fixed within narrow limits: on 20 June TJ had been reelected to Congress, and his notification would have taken from eight to ten days to reach Philadelphia; in the letter to Fleming, dated 1–2 July, TJ mentions having received that notification. Pendleton could not have received the present letter before the Convention adjourned on 5 July, so TJ’s wish could not be gratified. On 10 Oct., however, Benjamin Harrison was elected “in the room of” TJ (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1776, 1828 edn., p. 6).

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