Thomas Jefferson Papers

Elijah Griffiths to Thomas Jefferson, 19 April 1813

From Elijah Griffiths

Philadela April 19–1813

Dear sir,

It is now near 4 years since I have had the satisfaction of hearing from you, I however hope, in your retirement from the busy walks of life, you have experienced much satisfaction in a retrospective view of your life, & in the present enjoyments.

We have much speculation on the subject of peace, founded on the mission of Mess. Gallatin & Bayard. This may have been a very prudent measure, to reconcile the body of the nation to sustain a tedious war, if honorable peace cannot be obtained; but I fear it will enfeble the spirit of the republican party for the present.

I think if Congress had in all cases been as spirited as the executive, we should have had less trouble from foreign & domestic foes at this time, but experience must correct these errors

This city & the neighbouring country, particularly to the north & eastward, have been for some time past, & now are considerably afflicted1 by an epidemical disease of considerable malignity, I conceive2 it to be a true scarlatina obliging every other febrile affliction3 to wear its livery, agreably to the acknowledged laws of Epidemics; by this disease we have just suffered the loss of the Celebrated professor Rush who expired on the afternoon of this day, his loss will be much felt & lamented.—

Altho’ Unknown personally to the President of the United States, I am about to apply to him, to be appointed treasurer of the Mint, become vacant by the death of Dr Rush

I have never before requested any office from the U.S. Government, since it has been under the management of the republican party, but this step is taken by advisement of some friends who think it correct. Should your knowledge of me have made a favorable impression, & you conceive there would be no impropriety in it, a line from you to the President in my favor, on this subject, would be gratefully acknowledged

by Dear sir your friend and very humbe Servt

Elijah Griffiths

RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello State of Virginia”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 20 Apr.; endorsed by TJ as received 15 May 1813 and so recorded in SJL.

Griffiths did apply to President James Madison on 22 Apr. 1813 (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.  Congress. Ser., 17 vols.  Pres. Ser., 6 vols.  Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 6:228).

1Manuscript: “afflited.”

2Manuscript: “concive.”

3Manuscript: “affiction.”

Index Entries

  • Bayard, James Ashton; as peace negotiator search
  • Congress, U.S.; negative opinions of search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as peace negotiator search
  • Griffiths, Elijah; desires appointment as treasurer of U.S. Mint search
  • Griffiths, Elijah; letters from search
  • Griffiths, Elijah; on Congress search
  • Griffiths, Elijah; on peace negotiations search
  • health; scarlet fever search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • Mint, U.S.; treasurer of search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Philadelphia; scarlet fever outbreak in search
  • Rush, Benjamin; death of search
  • scarlet fever search
  • War of1812; and peace negotiations search