Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Procter, 30 May 1801

From Thomas Procter

Philadelphia May 30th 1801.

Honoured Sir

Justly presumeing upon your Excellencys friendship being extended, towards the faithful advocates of Our (Once) distressed Country, during the Revolutionary War, against Brittish, and Hession, Intrussions therein: Invites my second Application, least my former letter by any Mishap might have been withheld your presence. In my late address I named the great favour done me, by His Excellency Governor Thomas McKean, in presenting me, with the Commission of Superintendant of The State Magazine of Gunpowder—In which Building The powder belonging to the War, and Navel Departments, of the United States were stored for some Years past—But late a public Repossitary has been Errected (with other buildings for the Soldiery) To which the Public powder is removed since the late appointment of Majr: General James Irwin, to the Millitary Stores Department; which had been Contemplated previously to His being Commissioned. This Necessary change: has removed a stated Sallery from me. Viz. from The War department five hundred dollars per Year, and from the Navel depossits it amounted to a Considerable larger sum.—The residuary Powder as lodged by private Cityzens being Incompatable, to the payment, of Clerks &c. I am preparing to surrender its Charge; And my Commission: To His Excellency The Governor; and remove the obligations of my Self, and Suritys: as pledged for my due performance in Office.

Should therefore, any future event leave a Vacancy; which Your Excellency might think fit: to confer upon me, its charge—It shall be, Duly fully Discharged, by the Suited Attention of—

Your Excellencys Most Obedient Servant

Thomas Procter

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “His Excellency, Thomas Jefferson President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 June and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Procter (1739–1806) was a native of Ireland and longtime resident of Philadelphia. He was a colonel in the Continental artillery during the Revolutionary War and was appointed major general of the Philadelphia militia in 1796. In 1791 he conducted a mission to treat with the Miami and Wabash Indians. He also led a militia brigade during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 (Benjamin M. Nead, “A Sketch of General Thomas Procter,” PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877– description ends , 4 [1880], 454–69; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 18 Mch. 1806).

My former letter: probably Procter to TJ, 18 Apr. 1801, not found but recorded in SJL as received 6 May with notation “W,” indicating that TJ forwarded it to the War Department.

Procter confuses James Irvine (Irwin) with General William Irvine, who was appointed superintendent of military stores in Philadelphia in March 1801 (Vol. 32:435).

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