From Francis Hoskins
Philadelphia June 29th. 1801.
Your amiable qualities emboldens me to write to you. for the presumption I ask pardon. (necessity compels) I humbly request a place as under Clerk, in any of the Custom houses, or public Offices. the sincere wish and fervent prayers of an Old Man and his family are that your Administration may be long and prosperous. I have the Honor to be
Sir with sentiments of great respect your most obedient Servant
PS General Thomas Proctor Esqr. will be kind enough to give any necessary information—
The tables being novel I hope will be acceptable. the first is correct. The second the weight and value of Gold is supposed at a medium. in some countries, they put more or less Alloy, which makes Gold lighter and of less value. the third table which may be of use, I have been very particular and as near the truth as possible I saw calculations from one to five Centuries on Inspection I found the Author did not exceed 6 places of Decimals—I calculated 10. whereby I gained 14 Cents in the first 100 Years, and in 400 it exceeds a Million dollars. A table formed at 6 per Cent the accumulating Interest is amazing. as 500 years at 6 per Cent. amounts to above one hundred and eleven times more than that of 5 per Cent.
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 2 July and so recorded in SJL with notation “T”; also endorsed by TJ: “to be Underclerk in any of the Customhouses”; with note by Gallatin on verso: “He must apply to one of the Collectors. This department never interferes as they are solely responsible for their clerks.” Enclosure: Three tables prepared by Hoskins, 29 June 1801, with Table No. 1 showing “the diameter and solid content of the Globe in Miles, cubic yards, feet and Inches,” Table No. 2 showing “the weight and sterling value of a Globe of Gold as large as the World, and it’s amount in dollars,” and Table No. 3 showing “the amount of one dollar compound Interest at 5 per Cent per Annum from 10 to 1325 Years,” and concluding that “In 1325 years 267 days and 1 hour the principal and Interest amount to the value of a Globe of Gold as large as the World at this period, the accumulated Interest of one second of time amount to 18.876898.441409.739188 Dollars which exceeds the specie in the Universe” (MS in DLC; in Hoskins’s hand and signed by him; above signature: “Inscribed with the most profound respect to his Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr. President of the United States and President of the Philosophical Society”; endorsed by TJ: “Hoskins Francis. inclosed in lre of June 29. 1801.” Enclosed in Hoskins to James Madison, 29 June (see Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:358).
Francis Hoskins met with TJ in April 1800 and presented ideas for the improvement of navigation, including a “time piece for the longitude.” In 1800 he worked as a clerk in Philadelphia. He first wrote TJ requesting a clerical appointment in April 1801 (Stafford, Philadelphia Directory, for 1800, 64; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:358; note to John Gardiner to TJ, 25 Feb. 1801; Hoskins to TJ, 6 Apr. 1801, in DNA: RG 59, LAR).