Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 7 October 1801

To Gideon Granger

Washington Oct. 7. 1801.

Dear Sir

The office either of Auditor or Treasurer of the US. will either the one or the other be vacant after this month. I do not as yet know which. their salaries are equal, 3000. D. each; their rank equal. I shall be happy to have the vacancy supplied by yourself; and shall consider it as fortunate for the public. I therefore take the liberty of proposing to you to accept whichever of the two shall be vacant, and to give me an answer with as little delay as you can, the applications from other quarters being urgent. as the less said on these occasions the better, until the appointment is actually made, I will pray you to let it remain unknown till then.

Accept assurances of my friendly esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Granger Papers); at foot of text: “Gideon Granger esq.”; endorsed. PrC (DLC).

Office either of Auditor or Treasurer: after Joseph Habersham declined the office of treasurer, it was offered to Richard Harrison, auditor at the Treasury Department. On 12 Oct., Harrison wrote John Steele, declining the offer. He noted that the office of treasurer was “equal in point of respectability and emolument” to the one he held, but the security required for treasurer was much greater and he could procure it only by putting himself “under obligations of a very unpleasant kind.” Although grateful for the confidence the president expressed in him, Harrison wrote: “I do not see how I can, consistently with prudence, venture to accept; and I must therefore beg permission, (however contrary to my wish to accomodate) to decline the honor intended me.” Steele forwarded Harrison’s response to Gallatin the same day it was written (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 , 5:847; Habersham to TJ, 21 Sep.).

On 18 Oct., Granger wrote TJ a brief letter from Suffield, Connecticut, acknowledging that he had received with “high Pleasure” that morning the president’s letter of 7 Oct., as he was “on the point of setting off a Journey to New hampshire” from which he would return in eight days. “As I never contemplated an Office of the kind it struck me unexpectedly,” he confided, “& I ask a little time to determine my Answer.” He also promised to forward speedily “pretty correct Information respecting Connecticut” (RC in DLC; at foot of text: “Thos: Jefferson. Presidt: United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Oct. and so recorded in SJL).

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