Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Charles Minifie, 17 October 1807

Washington Octor. 17th. 1807

Much respected Sir,

Continued losses, crosses and Misfortunes, drive me to the necessity of seeking some justifiable means, whereby I may be enabled to support myself & wife decently; & what is nearest to my heart, discharge those debts incurred solely through the “time & chance” which more or less “happen to all Men.”

Some time since (after consulting a few Gentn. of Judgment & experience, among whom was Mr. Duval) I resolved to offer my services to the honble. House of Reps. of the US as their Clerk—and it is on the opinion of those Gentn. I ground the hope that I should be found equal to the Duties; to perform which to satisfaction, should I succeed, I will pledge my Salvation for every industrious exertion, and an inflexible integrity.   A Republican by nature; an oppress’d subject in my native Land; I was an American during the War, and adopted the US as my Country, in my mind, from reading the Constitution, after it, first crossed the Atlantic, altho’ family affairs & extensive concerns in life, prevented my setting foot on this land of Liberty sooner than I did.

In making this communication to Your Excellency, I hope for pardon only on the basis of that, more than expected, or perhaps merited, kindness, your philanthropy has heretofore condescended to impart, to an humble Citizen like myself:—Yet, in order to shew the republicanism of my nature,—& my preference to live under this Government, I beg leave to enclose a Soliloquy I wrote on having determined to come to America, & bid an eternal adieu to Britain:—

I write from memory, & it was never in print but in England by my friends after I had some time embarked: and although I have, at different times, written in favor of Liberty I was never ambitious enough to have it known; as I trust that over-assumption, or egotism have little if, any place in my composition.

I forbear to solicit, influence in my favor from any branch of the Executive (as respects my present object) under feelings of delicacy & fear’d indecorum and it is only on the humbly hoped for support of the independent republican Members, several of whom I’ve been acquainted with above 12 Years, that I entertain the unsanguine hope, yet ardent desire, to serve the House of Representatives as their Clerk: remaining most respected Sir

with veneration & unfeigned Respect Your Excellency’s very devoted and most humble Servt.

Chas. Minifie

Few I believe, if any, except the Gentlemen I consulted know of my intention to offer—it will be by a short circular approved of, by the very worthy Comptroller, whose advice & friendship I’ve been favor’d with. respy &c


DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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