Thomas Jefferson Papers

Petition of Augustus B. Woodward and Others, with Jefferson’s Order

Petition of Augustus B. Woodward and Others, with Jefferson’s Order

Washington January 18. 1803.

The Subscribers beg leave to represent to the President that a man by the name of John Henderson was tryed and Convicted before the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Washington during their present Term for keeping a gaming table and fined agreeable to Our Laws One hundred thirty three dollars thirty three and one third Cents which together with the Costs of the Prosecution Amounts to a sum which he is intirely unable to pay. We are informed that this is a poor but honest man who owes his Misfortune rather to an unfortunate aquaintance than a disposition to violate the laws of his Country, and that his wife and Several Small Children are in a Situation truly distressing as their only Support is derived from his personal labour and that his confinement has thrown them on the Charity of their Neighbours. Supposing that his confinement has Attoned for his Offence and that a Continuation of it will only be a Continuation of expence on the part of the United States, We feel it Our duty to recommend him to the Clemency of the President

Augustus B. Woodward

[Order by TJ:]

a pardon to be issued

Th: Jefferson

MS (DNA: RG 59, GPR); in a clerk’s hand, signed on verso by Woodward, George Hadfield, Benjamin More, and eleven others; at head of text: “To the President of the United States of America”; statement at foot of text in U.S. Attorney John Thomson Mason’s hand and signed by him, declaring “I believe the above is a correct statement”; statements of concurrence with Mason’s declaration in the hands of Uriah Forrest, Daniel Carroll Brent, and William Cranch and signed by them; with TJ’s order written below signed statements.

On 25 Jan., TJ issued a pardon to john henderson, remitting his fines and the cost of his prosecution and ordering all other proceedings against him to be stayed and discharged (FC in Lb in same).

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