Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Cooper and Others, 23 May 1801

From Thomas Cooper and Others

Philadelphia 23d May 1801


Desirous of cooperating with the chief Magistrate in his purpose to maintain the respectability and purity of Republican Government, by entrusting public functions to those only whose private virtues, talents, and attachment to the freedom and security of their fellow citizens and the peace and independence of their country entitle them to confidence and respect;—we whose names are hereunto subscribed, take the liberty of recommending to you Major William Henderson, of the county of Montgomery, of which county he is at present the Treasurer.

If popular report can be relied on (and is sustained in the present instance by sentiments of necessity as well as justice) it is the intention of the executive to release this city from injuries similar to those which it has already sustained, by the abuses of the department of the Customs to the grievous wrong of men who offended only in being republicans.

In such case we would respectfully recommend Major Henderson, as a person every way qualified to fill the station of Naval Officer. His talents and standing in society, his manners and integrity, and the political conduct which he has uniformly pursued with honor to himself and advantage to the public cause, entitle him to our esteem, and that of his fellow citizens at large, and render him in our opinions as worthy of the trust as any other citizen of this commonwealth.

With sentiments of respect, esteem, and attachment accept our best wishes—

Thomas Cooper

Jas Reynolds

Joseph Clay

Joseph Scott

Wm. Duane

John Pollard

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “To the President of the United States.”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 May and “Majr. Wm. Henderson. to be Naval Officer of Pensva” and so recorded in SJL.

Revolutionary War veteran William Henderson was commissioned a major in the U.S. infantry on 8 Jan. 1799 and was honorably discharged the following year (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 , 1:299, 303; Heitman, Dictionary description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1903, 2 vols. description ends , 1:522).

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