Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 14 August 1801

To Henry Dearborn

Monticello Aug. 14. 1801.

Dear Sir

I inclose you a letter from a mr Quarrier of this state asking a military commission. I know little of him, but that he is young, and ought to expect to be merely a commissioned officer. those who recommend him are persons of the first respectability.

the abuses in the military & naval departments seem to have been so great, that it will doubtless be indispensable that we bring them in some way, directly or indirectly, under the eye of the legislature. I inclose you a note of one instance, which merits enquiry. I strongly suspect it will be found to have originated1 with the engineer. I hardly believe that the Secretary could have given such orders. I write to my informant to furnish me with the particulars so exactly as to be absolutely relied on, & the names of witnesses. in the mean time you may have some opportunities of learning something about it without exciting alarm.

I propose that we shall all rendezvous in Washington on the last day of September if there be no pressing obstacle to it. I shall be there on or before that day myself.   Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem & high respect.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Genl. Dearborne.” Enclosures: (1) Samuel Quarrier to TJ, 4 Aug. 1801, not found, but recorded in SJL as received from Washington on 13 Aug., with notation “Off. W.” (2) Extract from “Nicholas Geffroy” to TJ, 1 Aug. (see TJ to Madison, 14 Aug.). Enclosed in TJ to Robert Smith, 14 Aug.

Those Who Recommend him: in a brief note to TJ on 4 July, George Wythe wrote, “The friends of Alexander Quarrier will be not a little gratified by hearing that his son, of whom they think well, hath been promoted to some office, which he shall be found qualified to execute” (RC in NNPM; endorsed by TJ as received 29 July and so recorded in SJL). Alexander Quarrier, a Richmond coach dealer, was captain of the city’s militia guard. His son Samuel wrote to TJ again on 21 Aug. (Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 2:266; Preston, Catalogue description begins Daniel Preston, A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Westport, Conn., 2001, 2 vols. description ends , 1:109–10; Vol. 30:116, 235; Vol. 31:376–7).

1TJ first wrote “it will originate” before interlining and altering the passage to read as above.

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