Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Patton Preston, 29 September 1801

From James Patton Preston

Smithfield Sepr 29th 1801

Being informed that there will be a vacancy in the Sixth Survey Virginia, or a Consolidation of the present Inspection Districts, and a Supervisor appointed in the place of the present Inspectors of Revenue, I am desirous of becoming a Candidate for the appointment.

not having a personal acquaintance with you, and being assured that you must be satisfyed of the Integrity, and Capacity, of a person making such application (In case of this new arrangement) I should be compelled to rely on the recommendation of such friends as I suppose you would confide in—James Monroe Esquire, Colo Wilson Nicholas, Judge Alexr. Stuart, Colo. Andw. Moore, and others would join in the nomination. I have written to Capt. M. Lewis on this subject with whom I am acquainted—Your determination on this head will be communicated to me by him whenever you may think proper to inform him of it—

I am with respect

James Patton Preston

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 11 Oct. and so recorded in SJL.

James Patton Preston (1774–1843) of Smithfield, Montgomery County, Virginia, graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1795, and served several terms in both the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates. Promoted to infantry colonel in the War of 1812, during which he suffered crippling wounds, he also served as governor of Virginia from 1816 to 1819 and became postmaster of Richmond before retiring to his estate in Montgomery County (Robert Sobel and John Raimo, Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States 1789–1978, 4 vols. [Westport, Conn., 1978], 4:1632).

Preston wrote to James Monroe on 28 Sep. asking to be recommended for the revenue position (Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 5:802). On the same day, Preston wrote Meriwether Lewis a similar letter on the subject (RC in DLC).

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