Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Levi Lincoln, 21 March 1801

From Levi Lincoln

Department of State
Washington March 21. 1801


I have thought it my duty to submit to your consideration two letters, addressed to the Secretary, containing the application of Major Thomas A Dyson, for the office of marshal of this District of Columbia, as also Stephen Moylan’s letter of congratulation. Mr Gelsten’s1 having in view similar objects, is also submitted. The office, is informed by a letter from Mr Sitgreaves,2 that he declines accepting of the office of judge of the circuit court of the 5th. circuit of the U.S.—I am sorry to add, by a Letter from Philadelphia addressed to Genl. Wilkinson, stating conversation with Mr Jones, on the supposition of his being appointed Secretary of the navy, then there is too much reason to beleive he will not accept. The note addressed to Mr Lincoln by Mr Stoddert was handed him, last evening, he regrets adding to the weight of business with which you are constantly pressed by this difficult matter. I have further to state that there were two Alexanders, the father & the son, for whom Mr Adams made a commission of the Peace. It still remains to distinguish between the two—

with the most perfect respect Sir I have the honor to by your most obt. Humble Sert.

Levi Lincoln

RC (DLC); at head of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Mch. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Michael J. Stone to [secretary of state], 19 Mch. 1801, recommending Major Thomas A. Dyson, and noting that as a lawyer and judge he could evaluate Dyson, who had served for six years as sheriff of Charles County, Maryland, as “a Man of Firmness, Honour and Integrity” and as “active and Deligent” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR). (2) George Dent to James Madison, 20 Mch. 1801, recommending Dyson as well qualified for the office of marshal of the District of Columbia, having observed him as an army officer during the Revolutionary War and as sheriff of Charles County (same; endorsed by TJ: “G. Dent (for Dyson) to Jas. Madison”; TJ later canceled “G. Dent”). (3) David Gelston to same, 13 Mch. 1801 (same; see Notes on New York Patronage, printed after 17 Feb. 1801). (4) Memorandum from Benjamin Stoddert to Lincoln, [21 Mch. 1801], reporting on the substance of an earlier conversation in which Stoddert observed that his continuance in office was disadvantageous to the public and that until a new secretary of the navy could be named, it would be better for Lincoln or Dearborn to be charged with the duties of the office, although Stoddert would be ready to provide any information in his power to the acting secretary (MS in DLC; undated; in Stoddert’s hand; endorsed by TJ: “Stoddert Benj. to L. Lincoln. Mar. 21. 1801”). Other enclosures not found.


Two Alexanders: Adams nominated Charles Alexander and Charles Alexander, Jr., as justices of the peace for the County of Alexandria on 2 Mch. (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 , 1:388).

1TJ wrote “Gelston” in the left margin adjacent to this line of text.

2TJ wrote “Sitgreaves” in the left margin adjacent to this line of text.

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