Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Leslie, 1 April 1801

From Robert Leslie

Philada April 1st 1801


your favour of Feby 8th was duly recieved, I hoped before this time, to have had the honour of thanking you in person, for you attention to me. as I intend visiting the City of Washington, agreable to your recommendation, before I settle, but have been detained here longer than I expected, in winding up the old consern, and have not yet finished, but wish to do it, before I leave the place, which I expect will be in a few days,

I should not take the liberty of troubleing you with this, but in consequence of a paragraph which appeard in the Aurora of yesterday, which I here inclose, in the postscript to my last, I mentioned that I had made myself acquainted with the machanical operation of the Mint, but declined entering into perticulars, least it should be considered as offering my service to fill an office, at that time, not vacant. but if it is as stated in the inclosed, and Mr Rittenhouse is not yet actuly appointed; nor promised the office, I hope you will not think me too forward in offering myself as a candidate for the office of director of the Mint, haveing no doubt but if the Abilities of Mr R and myself, are fairly investigated, I shall be found at least as well qualifyed to conduct the business as him, as I am in posession of the whole of Mr Boltons method of Coining, which he communicated to me at his mint, near Birmingham, whare I spent a few weeks not long before I left England. Mr. Bolton also engaged, that if I should be appointed to that office in this Country, and not be able to get the necesary machinery made here, he would send me the whole, or any part of it, that I should write for, at a very moderate price, Mr Boltons method of coining is now acknoledged to be superiour to any in the world, and if you think it would be worth while to adopt it in America, it is now at your service togeather with the best endevers of your very obliged, and Humble Servent

Robert Leslie

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 16 Apr. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off.” Enclosure not found, but see below.

Your favour of Feby 8th: TJ’s letter to Leslie of 8 Feb., recorded in SJL, has not been found.

Paragraph which appeard in the aurora of yesterday: “It is reported that Benjamin Rittenhouse, of Montgomery county, brother of the late celebrated David Rittenhouse, is to succeed to the direction of the Mint; Mr. Elias Boudinot being about to retire from that situation” (Philadelphia Aurora, 31 Mch.).

Matthew Boulton, a prominent manufacturer of Birmingham, set up steam coining presses at Soho and in 1797 produced a new copper coinage for Great Britain (DNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, In Association with The British Academy, From the earliest times to the year 2000, Oxford, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ; Clarence Blair Mitchell, Mitchell-Boulton Correspondence 1787–1792 Relative to Coinages for South Carolina and the United States [Princeton, 1931], 1–2).

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