Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Arnold Oelrichs in the Name of Lewis Harvie, 9 June 1803

To Arnold Oelrichs in the Name of Lewis Harvie

Washington June 9. 1803.


The President of the US. had recieved in due time your letter of Sep. 14. 1801. and lately that of Dec. 28. 1802. and he was informed by the officer of the customs1 in Philadelphia of the reciept of certain boxes there addressed to him containing busts. as it is inconsistent with the law he has laid down for himself to accept presents while in public office, he meant to have given this answer to the letter of explanation of mr Twisler of Baltimore which yours gave him reason to expect. no such letter having come to hand, he gave instructions to the officer of the customs on his application some time ago, to consider the boxes not as addressed to him but to Mr. Twisler & subject to his orders. he desires me to assure you he is as sensible of your kind intentions as if he could have availed himself of them, and he is satisfied they will lead you to approve the rule of conduct which his duty to the public & to himself requires him to pursue. I am &c

Lewis Harvie

secretary to the Presidt of the US.

Dft (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand; month and day interlined in dateline in place of canceled “Apr.”; at head of text: “Copy of a letter to be written by <Capt. Lewis> mr Harvie to Mr. Arnold Oelrichs at Bremen”; TJ inserted Harvie’s name for the signature in place of canceled “M.L.”; endorsed by TJ with notation “written to him in the name of mr Harvie.” Not recorded in SJL.

informed by the officer of the customs: George Latimer notified TJ in November 1801 that the shipment from Oelrichs had arrived in Philadelphia (Vol. 35:741; Vol. 36:19).

twisler of baltimore: James Zwisler (Vol. 36:19n).

1TJ first wrote “by the custom house” before altering the phrase to read as above.

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