Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel J. Cabell, 19 February 1803

From Samuel J. Cabell

Feby. 19h. 1803

Dear Sir

It is with the utmost difficulty that I can prevail upon myself to make application to you for the appointment to office of any person, however dear to me, as my confidence in your wisdom and Patriotism is so great, as to impress me with the most satisfactory belief, that your circumspection will ever produce the best selection of Characters—

yet under my present impressions, I can not forego recommending to your attention. Col. Greene, the present Member of Congress from the Mississippi Territory, as a Gentleman well and ably qualified to discharge the duties of a Brigadier General in case you should deem one proper therefor—indeed, Sir, I conceive that his address and Talents united with his Zealous and firm Republican principles peculiarly mark him out as a character by far the best fitted to fill that Station of any person within that Territory that has come within my notice—which concludes me with the highest consideration

Dear Sir yours truly

Sam: J Cabell

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “The President of the U States”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. and “Greene to be Brigadr. Genl.” and so recorded in SJL.

Samuel J. Cabell (1756–1818) of Amherst County attended the College of William and Mary and attained the brevet rank of colonel during the American Revolution. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1785 to 1792 and also represented Amherst County at the state ratifying convention in 1788, where he voted against ratification. Elected to Congress in 1795, Cabell was a solid Republican whom TJ supported when his circular letters to his constituents were criticized by James Iredell and a federal grand jury. However, TJ was also critical of his absences from Congress in 1798 and sought unsuccessfully to replace him with James Monroe the following year. Cabell was defeated for reelection in 1803 by TJ’s son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph, and thereafter retired from public life (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Richmond, 1998- , 3 vols. description ends , 2:494–5; Vol. 29:418–19n, 491–504, 594; Vol. 30:279, 363, 641–2).

col. greene: Thomas Marston Green.

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