Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Barnes to Thomas Jefferson, 13 February 1812

From John Barnes

George Town 13th Feby 1812.

Dear Sir,

Your much esteemed favr 27th Ulto received the 1st Inst persuade me the sett of ex for 1810. has reached the good Genls Banker. shd any demur in point of paymt in either sett, the Genl no doubt woud’ve Noticed it. his observations tended only to the loss of ex. in their negociation between Paris & London. If even that were 15 per Cent, still however the Genl should take into the Accot the Rate of ex—, say 10 perCt under par at which I purchased them. On the present Occasion I have addressd a letter to my friend Mr Geo Taylor Junr Broker in Philada for his advice and Assistance in Regard to Bills of ex— on Paris directing him to Apply to Mr David Parish, of whom Mr Coles in 1809. purchased a sett for me, in favr of the Genls Banker—I expect his Answer daily—

By last nights Mail, I recd from the Cashr Bank of Penna the Genls half years Dividend—due the 1st Ulto for $400. is $80 above the Usual dividd

It most assuredly Afford me great pleasure in perciving the prosperous situation of your funds—arising from your persevering exertions in Reducing your former accumilated debts—to so pleasing a state of adjustment and withal the future flattering prospect—must surely be a happy consolation—to the feelings of a gratefull mind emerging from such embarrassmts while many Others—under like circumstances,1 would have suffered themselves to bend beneath a lesser weight of difficulties, without reflecting on the future direfull Consequences.— No Apology is Necessary for your not writing me sooner, your engagemts are so Various; more interesting2 and pressing—

I cannot sufficiently express my Acknowledgements for the manner, & singular favors I have recd and your still continued Offers of Services,—which bating—only 20 years from 80. I should probably be tempted to solicit—

But as Time! keeps equal pace, with our age—as Usual, my present Hope and wish is—to gather up carefully the Scattered fragments, and retire to the friendly City from whence I came—for believe me, my present situation however Respectable, do not, nor has not, for these 3 yrs passed, Neated me little more—than a dollar per day—not quite—$400—per Annum.

and the Only friend here I wish to serve and to succeed me, is—my respectable Deputy—Mr William Morton—fully Competent to the Complicated business of the Office—having been Eleven years steadily employed therein—and whose services—are deserving of the Salary I allow him $800. per Annm.— Genl Mason, as well the Merchts and others in George Town his fast friends and well wishers—  why then! you will Naturally Answer—do you not, address the President on the subject.—I did!—with great diffidence—Attempt it, 12 Mos since—but as I expected the President, very Candidly & justly Observed—that—in these Cases, he could not, by any means—whatever allow himself to promise any thing of the Kind. of course, I begged to be understood—not by any means to bias his choice—but only to Observe to him Mr Mortons qualifications & situation—& withal added, should no Other Candidate interfer with his choice—&a … It is under these particular circumstances and Views alone,—I Venture to solicit your Benevolent Offer—should a favorable Opportunity be Affording you—in the Course of the insuing summer—either at Orange, or Monticello.

I pray you My Dear Sir—excuse the freedom I have taken in addressing you—on so delicate a3 subject—but convinced as I am of yr friendship towards me, I have Ventured to unbosom myself on this interesting Occasion, in behalf of a Worthy young Man, whom my Anxious wishes are to serve, and in whom, should the Office of Collector be conferred—will I am persuaded, do Honor to the trust reposed in him—

with great Respect, and Esteem—I am Dear Sir—Your mst Obedt servt

John Barnes.

PS. this Instant, Mr Taylors Answer recd informs me—there are no Bills on Paris for Sale in Philada—advises me to Apply at Baltimore—which I shall attend to, and advise the result,

RC (ViU: TJP-ER); ellipsis in original; postscript on verso of address cover; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monticello—Virginia”; franked; postmarked Georgetown, 15 Feb.; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

the cashr bank of penna was Jonathan Smith.

1Manuscript: “cumstances.”

2Manuscript: “intereting.”

3Manuscript: “a a.”

Index Entries

  • Bank of Pennsylvania; stock owned by T. Kosciuszko search
  • Barnes, John; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • Barnes, John; as customs collector search
  • Barnes, John; letters from search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; and T. Kosciuszko’s finances search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; Bank of Pennsylvania stock of search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; remittances to search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • Mason, John (of Georgetown); and customs collectorship search
  • Morton, William; J. Barnes seeks appointment for search
  • Parish, David; purchases bills of exchange search
  • Smith, Jonathan; cashier of Bank of Pennsylvania search
  • Taylor, George; and bills of exchange search