Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on Candidates for Public Office, 23 December 1800

Notes on Candidates for Public Office


Dec. 23. Majr. Wm. Munson, bearer of the Connecticut votes, recommendd. by Pierrept Edwards as a good Whig. he is surveyor of the of New haven. was a good officer in the revolutionary war.

he says that about a twelvemonth ago, the Marshal of that state turned out his deputy marshal, because he summoned some republicans on the grand jury. it seems the Marshal summons the juries for the Fedl. courts.

see a lre from Govr. Mc.Kean on the conduct of Genl. Hand, Robert Coleman & Henry Miller supervisor for Pensylva while their legislature were on the appointmt of electors.

Doctr. Jarvis of Boston is a man of abilities, a firm whig, but passionate, hot-headed, obstinate and unpliant.1

Doctr. Eustace is of equal abilities, amiable, & almost too accomodating. was once rather a trimmer, & was forced by the Feds to become decided against them. ex relat. Baldwin.

Colo. Hitchburn’s acct is different, that Eustis is superficial & Jarvis compleatly profound.2

N. Hampsh. Sherburne an able lawyer, republican & honest.

S. Carola. there is a Ramsay, son of Dr. Ramsay, a judge of a state court, a good lawyer, of excellent private character, eminent abilities, much esteemed, & republican. this character from Genl. Sumpter. the father is also republican.

Hamilton & DOyley of S. Carola, attached to the state treasury, good republicans

Brockhurst Livingston. very able, but ill-tempered, selfish, unpopular.

Dewitt Clinton. very able, good, rich & lazy. very firm. does not follow any profession.

married Osgood’s daughter in law.

Thos. Sumter, son of Genl. Sumter. S. Carolina. a man of solid understanding.

writes correctly. seems discreet & virtuous. follows no profession.

Harrison, of Carlisle. Genl. Hanna tells me he is as able a lawyer as any in Pensva, & a zealous republican.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 108:18524); entirely in TJ’s hand, perhaps written in several sittings; on same sheet and preceding note of 10 Nov. 1801.

President Washington appointed William Munson customs surveyor and revenue inspector for the port of New Haven in February 1793 (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, 3 vols. description ends , 1:129–30). The Marshal of Connecticut was Philip B. Bradley, who resigned at the expiration of his term in 1801 (same, 1:258, 397).

For Thomas McKean’s letter on Edward Hand and others in Pennsylvania, see 15 Dec. 1800.

Physicians Charles Jarvis and William Eustis were both Harvard graduates and supporters of the Republican cause in Massachusetts. Jarvis graduated in 1766 and received medical training in London while Eustis received his degree in 1772 and studied medicine with Boston physician Joseph Warren. In 1795 Jarvis led the protest in Boston against the ratification of the Jay Treaty. He was characterized as “one of the greatest orators that ever controlled the people in Faneuil Hall.” At the urging of Samuel Adams, TJ appointed him surgeon of the Marine Hospital at Charlestown. Eustis won election to Congress in 1800 (John L. Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Sibley’s Harvard Graduates: Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, 17 vols. [Cambridge, Mass., 1873–1975], 16:376–83; ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends , 7:590–1; Paul Goodman, The Democratic-Republicans of Massachusetts: Politics in a Young Republic [Cambridge, Mass., 1964], 99; James S. Loring, The Hundred Boston Orators Appointed by the Municipal Authorities and Other Public Bodies, From 1770 to 1852, 2d ed. [Boston, 1853], 308–10; Samuel Adams to TJ, 24 April 1801).

John S. Sherburne served as a congressman from New Hampshire from 1793 to 1797 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

In December 1799 Ephraim Ramsay was elected an associate judge of the South Carolina Court of General Sessions and Common Pleas. Dr. Ramsay: Ephraim was the brother of John Ramsay, a Charleston physician who had studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and in London. Their father died in 1770. TJ may have thought Ephraim was the son of Dr. David Ramsay, historian of the American Revolution, with whom TJ had last corresponded in 1790. Genl. Sumpter: Thomas Sumter was serving as a congressman from South Carolina in 1800 (S.C. Biographical Directory, House of Representatives, 4:465–7; Biog. Dir. Cong.; Vol. 16:332–3, 577).

Paul Hamilton became South Carolina’s comptroller of finance on 5 Mch. 1800 and Daniel D’Oyley was elected treasurer of the Lower Division of South Carolina on 18 Dec. 1799. Hamilton served as one of South Carolina’s eight Jefferson-Burr electors (S.C. Biographical Directory, House of Representatives description begins J. S. R Faunt, Walter B. Edgar, N. Louise Bailey, and others, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Columbia, S.C., 1974–92 , 5 vols. description ends , 3:192, 299–300; Peter Freneau to TJ, 2 Dec. 1800).

In 1796 DeWitt Clinton married Maria Franklin, daughter of Walter and Maria Bowne Franklin. Ten years earlier Samuel Osgood had married Maria Franklin’s mother, a wealthy widow (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ).

1MS: “unplian.”

2Preceding sentence in lighter ink and smaller hand, probably added at a later date.

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