Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Minor, 15 July 1803

From John Minor

Fredericksburg. July 15th 1803

Dear Sir

Few things could have afforded me more genuine satisfaction than that which I feel at the proof contained in your Letter of the 9th. Inst, that I possess your good opinion and Confidence; I pray you to accept my sincere thanks.

It is true that Eighteen years of Laborious Practice in my Profession, has created in me a strong wish for retirement, provided I could retire with Enough to support my family and Educate my Children in the Stile I wish, and my wish would not be extravagant; your goodness has tendered me the wished for Boon, and yet I must decline the acceptance of it; Prudence bids me decline it. I think the Office will be of short duration, indeed I think that it ought to be for I cannot but consider the Territorial Government as an unnecessary burthen upon the United States, and upon their Government should I therefore relinquish my present practice, which is lucrative, and accept the appointment you are so good as to offer me, and the office should be abolished, it would cost me much time to regain my present position at the bar; whereas by continuing to pursue my practice, I think I shall be inabled, in a few Years, to retire to the Enjoyment of ease and Independence, if not Dignity.

Accept, Dear Sir, my assurance of High respect and affectionate regard

John Minor

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 17 July and so recorded in SJL.

An extant letterpress copy of TJ’s letter of the 9th. inst. is badly damaged and largely illegible, rendering it unclear which office was being offered to Minor (PrC in DLC; at foot of text: “Colo. Minor”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso).

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