Gunston-Hall April 18th: 1784.
Inclosed is a Letter for Mr. John Hough; which please to deliver to him, if you see him in Alexandria; otherwise, please to leave it with Mr. Hartshorn.
I have been lately inform'd that some People intend to open a Pole for me at the Election to-morrow for this County. I hope this will not be offered; for as I have repeatedly declared that I can not serve the County, at this time, as one of it's Representatives, I shou'd look upon such Attempt, in no other Light than as an oppressive & unjust Invasion of my personal Liberty; and was I to be elected under such Circumstances, I shoud most certainly refuse to act; let the Consequences be what they will. I mention this to you, in your official Capacity, as high Sherif of the County; and if a Pole is demanded for me, I must request the Favour of you, to inform the People publickly of my Resolution; and that such Demand is made against my Consent, or Approbation. If ever I shou'd see a Time, when I have just Cause to think I can render the Public essential Service, and can arrange my own Domestic Concerns in such a Manner, as to enable me to leave my Family, for any Length of time, I will most chearfully let the County know it; but this is not the Case, in either Instance, at present. If no Offer is made of opening a Pole in my Name, I wou'd not have any thing said upon the Subject. I am, Dr. Sir, Your affecte. & obdt. Servt.