From James Martin
Jamaica Long Island February 22, 1801—
I am somewhat in the Situation (upon being asked for a Letter of introduction to you) of the French Captain described by Sterne, who first introduces his friend and then himself. Capt. Lewis who has the honour to deliver this held an Office under the late Administration which he is desirous, I believe, to renew under yours—. His Testimonials I understand are ample and I am incompent to add to them—I should not have taken the liberty of introducing him if I had not been anxious for the opportunity it affords me of thanking you for the condescending manner in which you Noticed the Oration I transmitted to you—the pen you are good enough to say should be more Employed is, as it ever has been, devoted to you and the Cause of which you have been the Support—I wish it was adequate to express the gratitude I owe you as an American individual and the Sentiments of respect with which I have the honor to be
your faithful and Obedient Servant
RC (ViW); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.
Laurence Sterne uses a debonair French captain to depict the art of making introductions in an early chapter of A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy entitled “In the Street. Calais.” For TJ’s 1770 edition of the work, see Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 4335.