Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Leander Cathcart, 24 March 1824

Monto Mar. 24. 24.

Dear Sir

I learn with real grief from your favor of the 10th that you are still unsuccesful in your endeavors to better your situation. but grief however afflicting is unavailing where there is no power to relieve. had I that power it should certainly be exercised in your behalf. You request me to give you a certificate specifying that when I nominated you to the Senate when your appmt took place I intended, that your salary should commence from the date of your commn but this is what I cannot certify with truth, because at the time of signing I had no thought on the subject. having subscribed the commission, my office was performed, every thing respecting compensn was of course to be left to the law and to those to whom it assigned those duties; and nothing occuring to draw my attention to that subject I could not then have in my mind any intention respecting it. again you wish me to give it as ‘my opinion that you ought to be offered the same outfit and allowance to pay your expences home and for clerk hire, stationery, extra service &c. as has been allowed to others.’ but, dear Sir, can I a private citizen with any propriety or decency obtrude my opn on the officers establd by law to decide these questions and to whom I have no authority to offer opn or advice? they might justly treat it as an impertinent interference in matters with which I have   nothing to do, equally assuming on my part and disrespectful to them. you must be so kind than, good Sir, as to excuse my stepping beyond the line of my just respect for the officers of govmt, and with my sincere regrets that your case is beyond the reach of any good offices which I can render I pray you to remain assured of my real esteem & sympathy

Th: J.

P. S. I return your papers as they may be useful to you on some other occn

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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