Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Clotworthy Stephenson, 3 November 1809

To Clotworthy Stephenson

Monticello Nov. 3. 09.


An absence from home has prevented my sooner acknoleging the reciept of your letter of Oct. 16. on looking into my papers I find nothing respecting you but your letter of Feb. 24. 09. requesting to be informed of the result of your documents & claims for services at the Marine barracks. the date of that letter will suggest the press of business which prevented an answer. with respect to your papers I can only say that according to the invariable course of business they must have been referred to mr Smith, the then Secretary of the Navy, first to be acted on & then to be filed in his office: and what confirms this is that I have examined my papers with that office as far back as the beginning of 1807. and do not find yours among them. indeed, if I can trust my memory, I think I recollect that I recieved mr Smith’s explanations verbally in a conversation on your case. but for this I should rely more on his memory than my own, which is a very bad one. he will inform you on this head & probably enable such a search as may find your papers which I have no doubt are in the Navy office. it is out of my power to give any other account of them than the present. I tender you my salutations with wishes that your search may be succesful

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); at foot of text: “Mr Clotworthy Stephenson”; endorsed by TJ.

On 7 Nov. 1811 Benjamin Henry Latrobe sent documents relating to Stephenson’s case, including this one, to Paul Hamilton, secretary of the navy (MdHi: Latrobe Letterbook).

Index Entries

  • Navy Department, U.S.; Marine Barracks search
  • Smith, Robert; secretary of the navy search
  • Stephenson, Clotworthy; claim on U.S. by search
  • Stephenson, Clotworthy; letters to search