Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, 20 August 1807

Philada. Augst. 20th. 1807.

Dear Sir

Since the Fall of 1805 when I had a paralitic stroke on my right side, my health has been gradually declining, & tho’ I am still able to perform the duties of my Office, The Physicians, as well as myself, are of opinion, that the Fall, or Spring will decide my fate, & that my Death may be sudden.

In this state of uncertainty, & whilst I have time, and recollection left, I beg leave, with heart felt gratitude, to Thank You, for the friendship shewn me, from the time I first had the Honor of being introduced to You, as well as for the favors, since confered on me—I have conducted in the Office You intrusted me with, conscientiously—& according to the best of my abilities, & I have every reason to believe, that after my Death, my Accounts will be found fair, & clear, & my only wish is, that They may be finally closd by my Deputy, Mr John Graff—who I believe is not unknown to The President

Mr Graff has now been in the Office upward of Twenty Years, & is a Man of excellent Character & unblemishd reputation He was the Deputy of Mr. Delany, & Mr Latimer, as well as mine, & has for many Years, chiefly conducted the business of the Office with great Credit—Could he be continued with propriety so long, as to enable him to [. . . .] of my Accounts it would give me great satisfaction—

The president will I hope pardon my anxiety on this occasion. I wish not to forfeit the good opinion of my friends, I wish to put it out of the power of any one to cast reflections on my Character after I am gone, & I wish my Accounts to appear fair & clear, which I am sure they will if permitted to be clos’d by Mr. Graff, who is fully acquainted with the minutea of the business—neither am I partial to the merits of Mr. Graff, for I do not believe, that there is a Man in this City who could obtain a more respectable recomendation than he could, on such an occasion   I have ventured this short address to The President, unknown to any Person living—should I have ask’d any thing incompatible with plans allready form’d The president will I hope forgive me—my chief motive was to acknowledge his friendship & favors whilst I have it in my power so to do.

with perfect Respect & sincere attachment I have the Honor to be, Dear Sir Your Obed servt

P Muhlenberg

DNA: RG 59—LAR—Letters of Application and Recommendation.

Index Entries