Thomas Jefferson Papers

IV. Richard Bland Lee to Thomas Jefferson, 19 August 1790

IV. Richard Bland Lee to Thomas Jefferson

Alexandria Aug. 19. 1790

Dear Sir

You may recollect that I mentioned Mr. Daniel Brent to you as a young gentleman of merit who would be happy to be employed in some of the public offices as a clerk. If any vacancy should happen in your department in consequence of the removal to Philadelphia, your patronage of this gentleman would be useful to him, and I flatter myself without injury to you or the Public.

The assumption will probably endanger my election:—I shall be a willing victim, if the government should be established and prosper.—With very great esteem & respect I am your obt: huml. servt,

Richard Bland Lee

RC (DLC: Applications for Office under Washington); docketed by clerk; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Aug. 1790 and so recorded in SJL.

Brent became a clerk in the Treasury Department. Lee was not defeated, but served in the House of Representatives until 1795. He was one of the two members of the Virginia delegation, Alexander White being the other, who voted for the assumption as a result of the conference arranged by TJ. Lee was a strong Federalist and had evidently been committed to vote against assumption. Of his action in doing so Richard Henry Lee later wrote: “It was generally supposed that the Assumption part of our Bill would be rejected by the H.R. but Messrs. R. B. Lee and White from our Country with Gale and Dan’l Carroll from Maryland, changing sides, the Assumption was agreed to” (Letters of Richard Henry Lee, ed. J. C. Ballagh, ii, 535).

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