Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Martin, 23 April 1802

From Thomas Martin

Detroit April 23rd. 1802


It is truly distressing to me to trouble you, at the same time I am bound to do it for the tender thoughts that I have for my little family. I have not been Officially informed of my being disbanded but from information think it must be the case, I am Old and getting rather infirm. I have no trade, nor am I able at this time of day to do any thing for my self or family, therefore do hope that if disbanded it will be1 in your Power to do something for me, pray Sir look at my Situation, here in a strange Country with Mrs. Martin & five Children without Money or friends, or a home to go too. What must I do, Where must I go, or how must I live, perhaps there will be some Vacant Post, and if there should, do humbly Solicite you for it.

I am and can be Proved Was always your Sincere Friend

Tho: Martin Majr
1st. Us. Regiment

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “To the President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 May and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “to some office.”

Thomas Martin (d. 1819) served as an officer in the Virginia line during the American Revolution. Commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1790, he had risen to the rank of major by 1799. Discharged under the Military Peace Establishment Act of 1802, Martin settled in Kentucky, where he sent TJ additional requests for employment in 1803 and 1804, only one of which has been found. In 1804, he was appointed military storekeeper at Newport, Kentucky (Heitman, Dictionary description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:693; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Military Affairs, 1:182; Henry Dearborn to Martin, 1 Apr. 1802, FC in Lb in DNA: RG 107, LSMA; Martin to TJ, 16 Sep. 1803).

1MS: “will in.”

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