Fredericksbg. July 14th. 1806
If I were not deliberately persuaded that I am now addressing myself to one who possesses, in an eminent degree, the best feelings that dignify human nature, I could never have prevailed upon myself to have undertaken the Task, which imperious necessity imposes upon me, of speaking of myself to a person to whom I am, I dare say, unknown. That necessity with a simple narrative of a few facts will constitute my Apology.
At an early period, after entering into the Service of the Church, I thought myself called upon to lend my humble, & feeble aid to my injured & oppressed Country; & was appointed as Chaplain to, perhaps, to the first Company of Volunteers raised in this State, in Carolina, in May 1775. I was afterwards appointed Chaplain to the 2d. Virgna. Regt. under Woodfords, was in the Battle of the G. Bridge, accompanied the Regimts. to Norfolk; & soon after retired into my parish of St. Mary in Caroline; where I have endeavoured consciously to discharge the Duties of a Minister of the Gospel. I last year removed to this place, where, the Duty laying not extensively over a large District, with the addition of a School, I might be enabled to pass the Evening of my life without being burthensome to the Public or to Individuals: but want of health has maugerd all my hopes, &, within a few days, I expect to avail myself of a benevolent Invitation from Col. Taylor of Hazlewood, of making his House an Asylum in my afflicted State. In this State some pecuniary aid would be acceptable; & to solicit from you some assistance upon the Occasion is the Object of my present address.
That you may long enjoy the Satisfaction resulting from the consciousness of a life devoted to liberal & virtuous Pursuits, the good of Mankind, & the Prosperity & Happiness of your Country, is the wish of Millions; but of none more ardently so than that of
respected & esteemed Sir, yr. mo. obt. Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.