Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Jones, 14 February 1790

To Joseph Jones

Monticello Feb. 14. 1790.

Dear Sir

I have this day received your favor of the 25th. of Jan. and should with great pleasure have embraced the occasion of manifesting my esteem for you and confidence in your recommendations by complying with that in favour of Mr. Dawson of whom I have before had a very advantageous account. But there is only one assistant allowed to the office I am named to, and he has been long ago fixed on on the recommendation of a person whose judgment on such a subject could not leave me a moment’s hesitation. To the regret of not being able to serve your friend on this occasion I can only add assurances to him and you of the sentiments of esteem & attachment with which I am Dear Sir his & your most obedt: & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC).

An entry in SJL on this date records the receipt of Jones’ favor; it informed TJ that John Dawson, “a friend … now serving as a member of the privy council,” desired to act as TJ’s assistant secretary; Jones thought he could venture to recommend Dawson “as well qualified to execute the duties of the office and of sufficient integrity to justify the confidence you must necessarily place in him should you call him into service” (RC in DLC). The person whose judgment TJ accepted without hesitation was Washington (see Washington to TJ, 13 Oct. 1789, and TJ to Jay, 14 Feb. 1790).

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