May 13. 1828
Col Preston is desirous of exchanging the office he holds at Richmond for that lately vacated by the death of Doctr. Tu[cker] & it is his wish that I should be in the number of his friends who bear testimony to the public services & personal qualities on which his pretensions are grounded.
Tho anxious to avoid such intrusions, I can not in justice to Col. P. withold the observat[ion] that his services during the late war were understood to be marked with true 9 patriotism, as well as great gallantry; in the latter of which he received a wound from which he suffered much, with a crippling effect which he carries thro’ life. Since the war, the State to which he belongs, has testified its sense of his merits & qualifications, by conferring on him the honors of its Chief Magistracy, of which his conduct proved him to be worthy. With respect to his career in private life, it is I believe characterized by the purest integrity & strictest honor.
In doing this justice to Col: P. it is as far from my purpose, as it would be out of my power, to enter into the comparative merits of the Candidates, not one of whose names except his, is known to me. I would express only the persuasion which I feel that if it sd. be his lot to be charged with the office in question, its duties wd. well be faithfully & satisfactorily discharged: and as a reward for public merit not misapplied