To Samuel Sheild
Monticello Aug. 21. 1801.
A collector for the port of Hampton is wanting in the room of a mr Kerby, removed for delinquency. a person of the name of Mount E. Chisman has been recommended. can you favor me with his character, or recommend any person more fit? you will much oblige me in doing so; fully & freely, under an assurance that no use shall be made of it which shall bring you into question. indeed I must even ask that nothing may be said of this application to you; because it is possible the case may have been so pressing as to have obliged the Secretary of the Treasury to make the appointment, and in that case I would not chuse that false hopes should have been excited in others. this will also apologize for my asking the favor of an answer by return of post, addressed to this place. accept assurances of my perfect respect & consideration.
RC (CSmH: Brock Collection); addressed: “Colo. Samuel Shields of York County near Williamsburg”; franked and postmarked. PrC (MHi); endorsed by TJ in ink of verso.
Probably the clergyman and planter Samuel Sheild (d. 1803), a Republican who represented York County in the Virginia House of Delegates for eight terms between 1794 and his death (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 , 3:518; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 197, 201, 209, 213, 217, 221, 225, 229; Richard R. Beeman, The Old Dominion and the New Nation, 1788–1801 [Lexington, Ky., 1972], 265).
TJ sent a similarly worded communication to George Booker on this date (PrC in DLC; at foot of text: “Colo George Booker; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso). Booker, a planter, represented Elizabeth City County in the Virginia House of Delegates for a number of terms beginning in 1782 and continuously from 1797 through 1804. Booker’s response of 29 Aug., recorded in SJL as received from “Backriver” on 3 Sep., has not been found (Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 145, 149, 160, 164, 168, 175, 179, 183, 187, 207, 211, 215, 219, 223, 227, 231; Beeman, Old Dominion, 263).