Richd 18 July 1825
My Dear Sir,
I fear you will think me your greatest & most constant pest in your old age, It grieves me that it should so happen, as you are certainly the very last person on earth I desire to be troublesome to, & what I mention now, is only by way of suggestion, for you to act upon or not, as you may feel inclined—
Finding my excellent old friend Major Gibbon gradually declining daily, tho’ not rapidly, yet certainly, & that a vacancy in his office must necessarily take place before a great while, & observing that President Adams has adopted the rule (which I had heard before Hay’s case, was his determination, in the generality of cases) of filling a vacancy before it is generally known to exist, I dare that there was any means by which the place could be forestald, with more effect than in the late administration, it would be a fortunate thing for me, & in mentioning the subject to you, I pray you to be assured that I entertain great doubts whether you will have it in your power to secure it, however willing, without doing what perhaps you had rather decline—in that event I would not any account have you do it, for I would rather be a pauper than expose your feelings to the slightest mortificationit is only in case you can take a step in it in a manner entirely consistent with your degnity, feelings, & inclination that I would desire it— The place is extremely desirable to me, but there will not be much prospect of success, I apprehend, if the vacancy occurs before some intimation is given at Washington of my views, for there will be numberless strong applicants for it— Mr Secretary Barbour I consider leaky, & probably inclined another way, tho’ I don’t know it—
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.