To John Benson
Washington Mar. 5. 09.
I recieved last night your favor of the 3d and am very sensible of the kind wishes of my friends at Fredericksbg that I should pass a day with them on my return home. at any other season I should have done this with great pleasure; but we have such terrible information of the impassable state of the roads that I dare not attempt it. the route I go is by cross roads altogether, not cut by waggons, & 20. miles nearer than by Fredericksburg. I shall have a Caravan also on the road, ahead of me, which, in case of any casualty I might overtake & relieve. I must pray you therefore to make my thanks acceptable to my friends, and to tender them and accept for yourself the assurances of my esteem & respect.
PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Benson”; mistakenly endorsed by TJ as a letter to former New York congressman Egbert Benson and so recorded in SJL.
John Benson (d. ca. 1815) served as postmaster at Fredericksburg, 1802–15, and kept a tavern in that town at which TJ had stayed previously (Axelson, Virginia Postmasters description begins Edith F. Axelson, Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices, 1789–1832, 1991 description ends , 177; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:903; Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 27 Sept. 1815). In his favor Benson invited TJ to spend a day with his Fredericksburg friends on his way to Monticello (Benson to TJ, 3 Mar. 1809 [MHi]).