Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Claxton, 16 February 1809

Washington Feb 16 1809

Honord Sir

I yesterday forwarded to the Treasury my accounts in relation to furniture for the President’s House, and at the same time reported a Balance unexpended of 281:35 cents

Before your departure from office Sir, I have one favor to ask, which is, to give to your successor your opinion of me—This favor I should not have thought of asking, had not Mr. Latrobe call’d on me this morning and inform’d me, that Mr. Madison had intimated to him that the business of furnishing was to be taken from me in order to give it to Mr. Latrobe—He at the same time wanted me to give him an inventory of the household affairs in order that he might have it to lay before the Committee—this I refused, and told him that all I did on the subject must be by official authority demanded—

This Business in the first place was urg’d on me by the heads of departments under Mr. Adams, and you were pleasd to continue me in it—If I should be discontinued now, it will certainly appear that confidence in me had be forfeited—this Sir is the principal reason for my wishing to continue—Another is that it affords a small addition to the means by which I support my family, which is very expensive, being all advancing fast to maturity—Such a character, Sir, as you may candidly think me worthy of, both as respects my execution of the trust reposed in me, and as relates to the regularity with which the business has been managed, I shall be thankful you will immediately communicate to your successor, and also to his lady—I hope this matter has not gone so far as Mr L. has told me—If it is promised to him, I am certain he must have used some undue means to effect it

I have the Honor to be Sir Your Humble friend & Servant

Thos Claxton

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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