Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James P. Preston, 28 May 1818

To James P. Preston

Monticello May 28. 18.


The letter of the 20th with which you have honored me did not come to hand until yesterday. with mr Hassler I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance; but I have information entirely satisfactory of his scientific character. as an Astronomer and Mathematician he is certainly highly qualified; and the former commission you mention him to have held of Director of roads, bridges and canals in Switzerland, would raise a presumption of his possessing practical knolege also. whether his residence and employment in this country have enabled him to become familiar with it’s natural resources, which often furnish us with unexpensive means of1 doing what in Europe can be effected but at great cost, I am quite uninformed. if mr Hasler’s practical talents should stand on as good evidence as those of his competitors, I have no doubt he must be far before them in Mathematical qualifications. I have the honor to salute your Excellency with great esteem and consideration.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi: RG 57, Applications for Position of Principal Engineer); addressed: “His Excellency Governor Preston Richmond”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 30 May; endorsed by Preston as a letter “respecting Mr Hasslers qualifications for Principal Engineers” received 1 June 1818. PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ, 9 Mar. 1818; endorsed by TJ.

1Manuscript: “of of.”

Index Entries

  • Hassler, Ferdinand Rudolph; and Va. Board of Public Works search
  • Hassler, Ferdinand Rudolph; as mathematician search
  • Preston, James Patton; and appointments search
  • Preston, James Patton; as governor of Va. search
  • Preston, James Patton; letters to search
  • Virginia; Board of Public Works search