Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Anthony Lispenard, 7 September 1801

From Anthony Lispenard

New york 7th Septemr. 1801—


Having understood that Mr Mathew L. Davis is a Candidate for the place of Naval Officer of this Port, I chearfully add my opinion in favor of his talents and character to that of his numerous and respectable friends. He is much esteemed in this City and wherever he is known, for his Candor, his Integrity, his Patriotism, and the purity of his life and manners, as far as my knowlege extends, and I mingle much with my fellow Citizens; his appointment would be highly grateful. The Person now holding that Office is paticularly obnoxious to our Republicans on account of his avowed political sentiments, his removal and the appointment of Mr Davis has been long expected and much desired. I might add that Mr Davis is one of our first Writers and public Speakers.   I ought perhaps to apologize for this intrusion, but I am emboldened to the freedom by a knowlege of your character and particularly by the sentiments expressed in your justly admired answer to the remonstrance of the New Haven Merchants. Having no other View but that of contributing my mite to the prosperity and popularity of Your administration, I have the honor to subscribe myself with entire respect.

Your sincere admirer and very humble Servant

Anthony Lispenard

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 18 Sep. and so recorded in SJL and connected by a brace with eight other letters received from New York on that date with notation: “Davis to be Naval officer”; also endorsed by TJ: “Davis.”

Anthony Lispenard (1740–1806) owned a brewery on Greenwich Road and extensive property in New York City between Canal Street and the Hudson River. He chaired Republican meetings in the sixth ward in the spring of 1800 and on 6 Nov. was chosen to serve as the presidential elector for the city and county of New York. In February 1801, he presided over a meeting of Republicans that approved the nomination of George Clinton for governor and became a member of the committee of correspondence, serving with James Nicholson, Marinus Willett, Samuel L. Mitchill, and other New York City Republicans (New York Mercantile Advertiser, 21, 28 Apr. 1800; New York Daily Advertiser, 3 Mch. 1801; Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, for the Twenty-Fifth Year of American Independence [New York, 1800], 258; New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 106 [1975], 234; Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831, 19 vols. [New York, 1917], 5:6–7, 263, 273; Journal of the Assembly of the State of New-York: At Their Twenty-Fourth Session, Began and Held at the City of Albany, the Fourth Day of November, 1800 [Albany, 1801], 9, 13).

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