Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Morris, 13 November 1793

To Robert Morris

Germantown Nov. 13. 1793.


I am instructed by the President of the US. to forward to you the inclosed petition from Ezra Fitz Freeman, on behalf of his son Clarkson Freeman, and to ask the favor of your information of the circumstances of the case of the said Clarkson Freeman therein referred to, and your opinion on the different considerations weighing for and against the pardon therein prayed for. I have the honor to be with great respect Sir Your most obedt. & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “The honble Robert Morris the District judge of the US. for N. Jersey.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL).

Robert Morris (ca. 1745–1815), a prominent New Jersey lawyer, was the first chief justice of the state supreme court, 1777–79. In 1790 George Washington appointed him judge of the United States District Court for New Jersey, a post he held until his death (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 63–4).

TJ evidently confused Abraham Freeman, the author of the Petition, with Ezra Fitz Freeman, whose letter transmitted it to TJ. Both documents were enclosed in TJ to George Washington, 5 Nov. 1793.

TJ submitted this letter to the President on 16 Nov. 1793, and Washington returned it the same day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 252).

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