Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William January, 30 March 1819

Washn CityMar 30. 1819


My conscience is very much perplexed on the question following—Having been sworn, according to law, as a Clerk to support the constitution of the United States, I am at a loss to decide, whether that support is expected to be negative, or positive: If negative that is to say, that no more is expected of me than to refrain personally from doing it any injury, disregarding the injuries that others may attempt to inflict thereon, as foreign to my own obligations: or, positively, by using every means in my power to avert the evils by which the constitution may be assailed. The first course appears most safe, selfish, politic, but not most patriotic: The latter most difficult, dangerous & turbulent—moreover the Clerks who had taken this mode with the Gen. P. Office have been dismissed, disgraced & ruined. Your candid advice would much serve me in this dilemma, in which I cannot lay my mind open to any one so freely as yourself.—

A letter directed to Wm January Alexa post Office will reach me.—

Having been favored with a perusal of the foregoing, and entertaining, as I have ever done, the highest veneration for the character and opinions of the illustrious Statesman to whom this letter is addressed, I have obtained permission to state here, that I have been a fellow sufferer with the writer from a similar cause—to wit—the stating of facts to a Committee of Congress; and if the Hon. Mr Jefferson shall think proper to notice this appeal, I should feel honored by the circumstance of his addressing his answer

His faithful follower, and most ardent well w[. . .]
Wm Blagrove
Late Second Clerk of the
Navy Department.

CSmH: Jefferson File, Bixby Acquisition.

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