Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel A. Otis, 4 March 1803

From Samuel A. Otis

Washington March 4th 1803


In addition to the enclosed I can only repeat that tis my wish to continue Secretary of the Senate so long as that honble body, who yesterday gave me an additional & flattering mark of their approbation, shall permit my continuance

The Senate have uniformly allowed me, after arrangeing their business, to retire during vacation. In the present, it would be agreeable could I be permitted to exercise the office of a commissioner; which I shall however not presume to do, without your express permission. And in which, should you Sir be of opinion there is any incompatibility I shall cheerfully abide your decision.

Repeating my assurances of being very greatfully impressed by the mark of confidence1 you have done me the honour to confer, & wishing you a pleasant summer & every felicity,

I have the honour to be With every sentiment of respect Your most obedient & humble Servt

Sam: A. Otis

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the U States”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Mch. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found, but perhaps it was the 3 Mch. resolution of the Senate postponing action on the Convention of 1802 with Spain; the Senate ordered Otis to lay the resolution before the president (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States…to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:447–8; TJ to the Senate, 11 Jan. 1803, fourth letter).

their approbation: on 3 Mch., the last day of the session, the Senate voted 15 to 7 to postpone “the election of a Secretary, and the other officers of the Senate,” thus continuing Otis in office (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:286–7).

For Otis’s appointment as bankruptcy commissioner, see Memorandum on Appointments, 6 July 1802. TJ decided to appoint Edward Jones in place of Otis to fill up the slate of commissioners for Boston (Vol. 39: Appendix I).

1MS: “cofidence.”

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