To Roger Alden
New York July 25. 1790.
I receive this moment your favor of to-day. Tho’ I shall ever be pleased with every event which may promote your interests, yet I cannot be without regret altogether that one of the consequences of the advantageous propositions you embrace is that they deprive me of the continuance of your assistance. I have been too short a time in the office to know as yet it’s duties myself. It was on the special recommendation of the President of the United states that I appointed you to the direction of it. His judgment in the characters of men is too well known to me to leave a hesitation in my mind to give you a preference over the numerous applications made to me for the same office. And during the four months you have assisted me in it, I have had every reason of gratitude to the President for having so well directed my choice. I thank you for your kind expressions of esteem for me. I assure you they are reciprocal, and that I shall sincerely rejoice in every circumstance which shall give you success and happiness. I am with very sincere esteem & attachment Dr. Sir Your most obedt. and most humble servt.,
This letter was in response to Alden’s of the same date stating that he was disposed to accept some flattering proposals because his estate was “small, and that little not increased from any compensations … received from the public,” and that, with TJ’s permission, he would resign his post and leave New York the next day. He enclosed some “honorable testimonials” and asked TJ to contribute his own “if … favorable impressions or the opinion of others” provided the basis for such (RC in DNA: RG 59, MLR; recorded in SJL as received the same day).