Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Maury, 1 May 1791

To James Maury

Philadelphia May 1. 1791.

Dear Sir

Mr. Coxe, Assistant secretary of our treasury, interests himself in behalf of a Mr. Parkinson here, whose family is in your neighborhood, and who is desirous of having them brought here. I will thank you for your attention to any thing Mr. Coxe may desire on this subject, and as he is not known to you, I take a pleasure in assuring you that his faith and his ability to comply with whatever he may engage on behalf of Mr. Parkinson may be counted on with the utmost certainty and punctuality.—I am, Dear Sir, with great esteem & attachment Your sincere friend & humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi).

Early in 1790 Tench Coxe had entered into partnership with the English artisan George Parkinson, who claimed to possess “the Knowledge of all the secret Movements used in Sir Richard Arkwright’s Patent Machine” and who agreed to construct a model with his improvements upon it by which hemp, flax, wool, and silk could be woven into fabrics as well as cotton. The articles of agreement provided that the partners would share in all patent rights and profits and that Coxe would arrange for the passage of Parkinson’s family from Liverpool to Philadelphia (Articles of agreement, 11 Jan. 1790, PHi: Coxe Papers; see Jacob E. Cooke, “Tench Coxe, Alexander Hamilton, and the Encouragement of American Manufactures,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly, 1892– description ends , xxxii [July 1975], 381, n. 45, where it is stated that Coxe arranged for the family’s passage through James Maury). While TJ took no part in aiding the immigration of British artisans because it was forbidden by law, Coxe had recently saved him from the embarrassment of having to do so because the President had directed it (see note to Digges to TJ, 28 Apr. 1791). Because of this and other instances in which Coxe had been useful to him—especially his assistance in the preparation of TJ’s Report on Fisheries—TJ was no doubt pleased to reciprocate by lending his good offices in a matter which did not contravene British law. Coxe also applied directly to Maury, who made the necessary arrangements (Coxe to Maury, 4 May 1791; Maury to Coxe, 29 July 1791, PHi: Coxe Papers).

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