Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, [19 April 1798]

To James Madison

[19 April 1798]


the inclosed was sealed before I recollected that I have mentioned a petition instead of an address to the President, which is to be corrected. a nomination of Govr. Secretary & three judges to the Missisipi territory is sent in to the Senate, four of whom are agents, or interested in the land speculations of that country, two of them bankrupt speculators, & the 5th. unknown. the Senate demur, and are going into an enquiry. the nomination is George Matthews governor, Millar of Connecticut Secretary, Wetmore of Mass. Clarke of the Missis district (a merchant who married a daur of Adam Hoops) and Tilton of New Hampshire judges.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers, Rives Collection); undated; addressed: “James Madison junr. near Orange court house”; franked. PrC (DLC). Enclosure: see preceding document.

President Adams sent his nominations for officers of the Mississippi Territory to the senate on 18 Apr. and the following day they were referred to a committee for consideration. On 2 May Adams withdrew them and submitted a new slate with only Daniel Tilton appearing on both lists. On 7 May, after several days of debate, Winthrop Sargent was confirmed as governor by an 11 to 10 vote. The appointments of John Steele as secretary, and Peter Bryan Bruin and Tilton as judges, were also approved that day. On 26 June Adams completed the appointments by nominating William McGuire of Virginia to serve as chief justice of the territory. The Senate approved the appointment two days later (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 , 1: 269–74, 282).

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