Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Langdon, 10 June 1801

From John Langdon

Hopkinton, June 10th. 1801


I had the honor yesterday of receiving your letter of the 23d Ult. at this place where I have been four days attending my duty in the Legislature of this State; the post road from Portsmouth not passing thro’ this Town prevented my receiving your favo’r sooner. Indeed my dear President, you can better conceive than I can possably describe, my feelings when I consider the kind offer which you have been pleased to make me, that of Secretary of the Navy. Tho’ I think myself unequal to the Station, yet the great desire I have of associateg with those, who I sincerely respect and love, and at the same time find it almost impossable to accept, distresses me beyond measure. hope to return to Portsmouth in ten days when I shall see my Brother who no doubt, will have returnd from Washington by that time, when I will come to a determination what to do in this important Business—

I pray you Sr. to accept of my greatful acknowledgements for all your goodness and kindness, and believe me with the most sincere respect and attachment

Dear Sr. your obliged Servant

John Langdon

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thoms. Jefferson President of US”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 June and so recorded in SJL.

My Brother: Woodbury Langdon, John Langdon’s elder brother, was appointed navy agent at Portsmouth on 1 May 1801 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Samuel Smith to Woodbury Langdon, 1 May 1801, DNA: RG 45, MLS; NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Dec. 1800–Dec. 1801, 374).

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