Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Henry Dearborn, 1 September 1801

From Henry Dearborn

Pittston Septemr. 1t. 1801


I was last evening honour’d with your letter of the 14th. ulto. with the enclosed papers relative to Mr. Quarrier, &c.

There has undoubtedly been very improper management at Newport. on my way home I visited & examined the public works at that place & shall call there on my return, and make some further enquiries.

In a former letter I took the liberty of mentioning the unhappy situation of one of my daughters. she has in a great measure recovered her reason, but not perfectly, I doubt whether I shall be able to leave home sooner than the twenty fourth or1 fifth, inst. Mrs. Dearborn with our son & one daughter will accompany me.   Mr. Benja. Jarvis has been induced (by a liberal offer from Genl Lincoln) to decline the appointment of Collector at Penobscut.—A Mr. Josiah Hook, a Gentleman of education & unblemished charactor, and who lives on Penobscut river at a place called Orrington is perhaps the most suitable charractor to fill that office that will be found in that quarter, he is a sound Republican & in all respects well suited to the office, he is under thirty years of age, has a family, & would like the appointment. I have mentioned him to Mr. Gallatin.—Mr John Lee’s removal is generally popular, & his brother Silas Lee, is highly pleased with his appointment as District Attorney and promises to do well.

with sentiments of respectfull esteem I am Sir Your Obedt. Huml. Servt.

Henry Dearborn

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President. of the U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received from the War Department on 24 Sep. and so recorded in SJL.

Dearborn suspended the construction of harbor fortifications at newport, Rhode Island, in March. Since then he had learned that the land for the project had apparently been purchased on the basis of “verbal or implied orders” when James McHenry was secretary of war. In August, TJ received an accusation that Henry Knox had benefited from the project. Dearborn’s visit to Newport that month may have fostered rumors that additional fortifications would be built (Louis Tousard to Dearborn, 4 May, 27 May 1801, summaries in DNA: RG 107, RLRMS; Henry Dearborn’s Report on the War Department, [12 May 1801]; “Nicholas Geffroy” to TJ, 1 Aug. 1801).

Former letter: Dearborn to TJ, 12 Aug.

Benjamin Jarvis had been the original choice to replace John Lee as collector of customs at Penobscot, Maine. Lee had, in TJ’s assessment, “very violent” and obnoxious political sentiments. Dearborn recommended Josiah hook in a letter of 1 Sep. to Gallatin. Hook received the appointment in November (Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 5:672; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:479; Vol. 33:219, 669, 673, 677; Hook to TJ, 24 Dec. 1801).

1MS: “of.”

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