T[heodric] Romeyn Beck to MVB, 10 March 1826
March 10. 1826
I am afraid you will think me troublesome, but I rely in my present application on your kindness of disposition. I will be ^as^ brief as possible in stating what I venture to ask from you.
Mr Joseph Henry aged about 23 Years, is a native of this city, of respectable parentage, ^but^ lost his father a number of years since. His worthy mother has by industry, supported him his brothers sisters during infancy & youth. Mr. Henry learnt the trade of silversmith — & made good proficiency in it, but having a great desire to advance in knowledge,
he entered himself in the Albany Academy — studied Mathematics, &c & then for a support taught school in various parts of this county. With his earnings, he returned & again entered himself in the Academy. I employed him as my Chemical Assistant with perfect satisfaction during the winter of 1823-4. Last spring, he was employed at my recommendation & that of others, as a principal surveyor of the projected State Road - in which duty I am authorized to say, he has acquitted himself to the satisfaction of the Commissioners. Mr. Hammond will address the Secretary of War in a manner that will show this sense of his services.
We have perceived by the papers, that ^it^ is proposed to increase the corps of U.S. Topographical Engineers - & believing, that no individual can be presented more worthy or under circumstances, more interesting, I venture to ask your good office, in his favour. I have no doubt of his perfect competence – of his natural & acquired abilities - & his conduct & deportment are so modest & correct, that none who know him can avoid being prepossessed in his favour. In conclusion, I will only add that he is a nephew of Mr McCulloch of the firm of Boyd & McCulloch Brewers.
I remain with sentiments
of great respect Yours
T Romeyn Beck