Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Timothy Bloodworth, 30 June 1801

From Timothy Bloodworth

Spring Hill June 30th 1801

Dear Sir

At the request of Coll: John Pue Williams, I beg Leave to acquaint You, of the Voluntary tender of that Gentlemans Services, in any office in the General Government, that the President may think proper to bestow on him. Under the late Administration, no appointment would have prov’d acceptable, as the Measures persued, appear’d to be incompatable with the genuine principles of true Republicanism, which this Gentleman have Uniformly held Sacred. & ever Contended for, with a Zeal bordering on Enthusiasm, at all times, when the success of Federalism was most triumphant, he per-sued his opposition to the prevailing torrent, with an open, Bold, & intripid perseverance, unmindfull of the frowns of Power, & Unaw’d at threatning Danger.

This Gentleman is a Brother to the present Governer of N:C:, Yet as opposite in political sintiments, as the riseing, to the setting Sun. he took an Active part in the Revolutionary war, & bore a Command in the regular Army. his Uniform conduct since that period, intitles him to the epithet, of a Patriot of 76.

Should the President be inclin’d to accept his offer of Service, further information may be obtaind, from Mr Mecon, who is wel Acquainted with his Charrecter.

I have the pleasure to acquaint You, that the Mist of Federal delusion is on the decline, in the Circle of my acquaintance. my hopes are Sanguine, that they people will discern their true Interest, & return to the standard of Republicanism, which has for some time Languished, Under the late Administration. I fondly hope, that Youre Accession to the Presidency, will be the Means of saving Youre Country from Tyranny, & oppression. Long may You live in the enjoyment of Health, to Bless Youre Countery in the present situation, & direct the helmn of the Political Vessel, through the Boisterouse Oceon of Error & delution, whose foaming Billows has Lash’d the Europian Shores, for Centuries past, & lately advanc’d with the hasty strides of a Giant, towards this peacfull Land. which awaked my apprehention, & Alarm’d my fears, that is at present happily Allay’d, & expiring hope again reviv’d. the freedom, & happiness of my Country, is the first wish of my Heart, which I flatter my self she will now Enjoy, Notwithstanding the threatning danger, that Menaced her destruction.

With every expression of real respect, & Esteem, I have the Honor to be, Dear Sir. Youre Very Humble Servant.

Timothy Bloodworth

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 27 Aug. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Williams to office.”

Timothy Bloodworth (1736–1814) of New Hanover County, North Carolina, served in his state’s legislature, opposed ratification of the Constitution, and was elected a representative in the First Congress from 1790 to 1791 and U.S. senator from 1795 until 1801. In February 1802, TJ appointed him customs collector for Wilmington to replace Griffith J. McRee. He died in arrears to the United States for $22,500, but while in office he sent TJ seeds of the flytrap plant and accounts of the spread of Republicanism in North Carolina (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:406; Delbert Harold Gilpatrick, Jeffersonian Democracy in North Carolina, 1789–1816 [New York, 1931], 125; Vol. 33:670, 678).

During the Revolutionary War, John Pugh Williams served as a captain of the 5th North Carolina regiment and colonel of the militia before retiring from the army in June 1778. His Brother Benjamin Williams represented North Carolina in the Third Congress and was elected to three consecutive terms as a Federalist governor, 1799–1801 (Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present, 8 vols. [Greensboro, N.C., 1905–17], 5:467–72; Heitman, Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1793, new ed., Washington, D.C., 1914 description ends , 595; James H. Broussard, The Southern Federalists, 1800–1816 [Baton Rouge, La., 1978], 218–19).

Mr mecon: Nathaniel Macon.

Bloodworth also wrote a similar letter of introduction to Albert Gallatin on 1 July and offered Williams’s services to the Treasury Department (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Bloodworth Timothy to mr. Gallatin} recommending John Pue Williams to office”).

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