Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Law, 1 August 1806

1 Aug. 1806

To Thomas Jefferson Esquire President of the United States of America

Your petitioners take the liberty of representing to you the situation of Jason Jones now confined in the jail of this county, with the hope that you will grant him the liberation which the circumstances of his case demand. Your petitioners herewith file the amount of the fine & the fees due to the United States for which he was committed. His narrow circumstances place it beyond his power to discharge so large a sum; & they are confident he has had recourse to no arts of concealment to evade the payment. His youth & inexperience must likewise palliate in a great measure, the indiscretions which have brought him under the punishment of the laws;—The small fines, in no case above two dollars, which he was sentenced to pay by the Court prove the slight nature of the offences. His imprisonment excludes him from collecting by His labor the means of discharging the debt. His relations do not reside in this district, His friends are indigent & incapable of affording him any assistance & the wife which he has lately married is left upon the charity of her acquaintance by her own sickness & the loss of his industry.

Your petitioners can declare from their own knowlege, that the conduct of Jason Jones is in general correct; & they believe that the offences, under which he is now confined, & which occurred nearly two years ago will not be repeated. They therefore hope that you will grant him the discharge, which his situation & case demand, & which the laws have entrusted to your judgement & clemency.

John Law

and 7 other signatures

The undersigned Judges of the Circuit Court of the district of Columbia, believing that the petitioner is unable to pay the fines and costs mentioned in the within petition, and that his imprisonment has been a sufficient punishment for his offences, respectfully recommend him to the mercy of the President of the United States.

W. Cranch.

Augt. 1. 1806.

N Fitzhugh

[Order in TJ’s hand:]

Let a pardon issue

Th: Jefferson

Aug. 8. 06.

DNA: RG 59—GPR—General Pardon Records.

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