Thomas Jefferson Papers

William DuVal to Thomas Jefferson, 13 June 1821

From William DuVal

Buckingham June 13th 1821

Dear Sir

I return you a Thousand thanks for obtaining for my Son John P DuVal by your friendly Letter to Mr Madison an Appointment in 1812 of Lieutenant in the Army. He continued in the Army during1 the last War with G Britain, & was soon promoted to a Captaincy. After Peace was made He married an amiable Lady and has Three Children

He lives in the County of Fauquier After He finished his Studies at the College of William & Mary, He obtained Licence to practise the Law & has pursued it. He is fond of reading is acquainted with Classical Learning and several Branches of the Mathematics, particularly Surveying, after the most correct and approved Methods.

He is desirous with a growing Family to reside in the Western Country, and requests it, as a great favour for you to write to the President as soon as convenient; that whenever a vacancy happens to be appointed a terratorial Judge, a Surveyor or Register of the Land Office, in any of the new Terratories—He has a natural Genius for drawing Landscapes—I saw a drawing of his representing the Natural Bridge, which was said to have been a good Representation. I mention this, because if He should be appointed Surveyor, He could make neat and correct drawings of Rivers the range of Mountains &c, or if in either of the Florida’s he could draw the Sea Coast with all its Shoals to the Mouth of Saint Mary’s River if required & with accuracy.

I think his capacity is above Mediocrity, that from his virtuous and moral habits, and his attachment to Republican Principles, If through your kind interposition He should obtain either of the appointments from Mr Monroe, he would discharge either of the Offices with Credit and Fidility.

I do assure you Sir, I would not desire a Son of mine to fill any Office, unless the public good was in Unison with his private Interest.

I know that to you a consciousness of doing g[o]od is a Luxury, You have enjoyed already beyond most persons, and that you may long enjoy it, and to bless your Country and Friends, is the sincere wish of him who with every possible Sentiment of Esteem and Respect

Dear Sir, Your most obedient an[d] humble Servant

William DuVal

RC (MHi); edge trimmed, with ending of one word on verso of address cover; closing torn at seal; endorsed by TJ as received 25 June 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to George Hadfield, 10 Sept. 1822, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Monte Cello” and “By Mail”; franked; postmarked Flood’s, 18 June 1821.

TJ recommended john p duval to Secretary of War William Eustis on 25 Jan. 1812.

1Manuscript: “duing.”

Index Entries

  • drawing; landscape search
  • DuVal, John Pope; seeks appointment search
  • DuVal, John Pope; TJ recommends search
  • DuVal, William; letters from search
  • DuVal, William; seeks appointment for son search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and appointments search
  • Monroe, James (1758–1831); and appointments search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; drawing of, by J. P. DuVal search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • surveying; study of search
  • William and Mary, College of; students at search