Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jacob Coleman, 12 April 1806

Philadelphia Gaol.
April 12th. 1806.

His Excellency the President of
the United States of America.

The Petition of Jacob Coleman of the Borough of Reading in the County of Berks and state of Pennsylvania,

Respectfully sheweth,

That at a Circuit Court of the United States, held the 11th day of April, in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and six, at the City of Philadelphia in and for the Pennsylvania ––District, Your Petitioner was convicted, by his own confession, of taking and opening a letter from the Post-Office, containing money, as will fully appear from the Record hereunto annexed.

Your Petitioner is conscious, that he hath been wicked in an high degree, and is fully sensible of the heinousness of his Offence, and perfectly convinced of the propriety and justice of the sentence passed upon him; he knows, that the crime, of which he hath been guilty, is so great, that forgiveness and pardon can scarcely be expected; but, he begs leave, in an humble manner, to state to Your Excellency, that the money, by him taken as aforesaid, hath been restored, and that this is the first criminal Offence your Petitioner ever committed, that he is extremely sorry therefor; and for it, now asks mercy and pardon from Your Excellency, who alone can grant it to him and thereby alleviate his distress and that of a young but unhappy partner.

And he will pray, &ca.

Jacob Coleman

Reading April 14th. 1806.

We, the subscribers, beg leave to recommend to His Excellency the President of the United States, the above petitioner Jacob Coleman; and we beg leave to state, that he is a young man of the Age of twenty two Years, the son of respectable, honest and industrious parents of this place, who are greatly distressed at the misfortune of their son, that it is the first Offence by him committed and that, in our Opinion, he is a proper Object of mercy and pardon.

George DB Keim

and 74 other signatures

  Let a pardon issue as to so much of the judgment as goes to inflict a whipping

Th: Jefferson

Apr. 18. 1806.

DNA: RG 59—GPR—General Pardon Records.

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