Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Marinus Willett, 7 September 1801

From Marinus Willett

New York, 7th September 1801


The republicans of this City have been much Gratified by the Removal of several persons from office and Replacing them with good republicans.

There remains however two offices in the hands of persons equally obnoxious to the friends of the present administration, Those are the Naval office occupied by Mr Rogers and the agency of the war Department in the posession of Col. Stevens—Excuse my obtruding this Information upon you. It arises from a Conviction of the Justise and propriety of the measure of such Removals—

This will be handed you by Mr Davis whose exertions have been such as to merit attention and whose abilities by the best Judges are deemed amply sufficient to fill with reputation the office at present enjoyed by Mr Rogers whose state of health & temper as well as avowed tory principals unfit him for the discharge of the duties, and render him odious—The appointment of Mr Davis will I am of opinion should it take place give great satisfaction—

With the greatest respect I am Sir Your very obedient servant

Marinus Willett

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Sep. but recorded in SJL at 18 Sep. 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.”

Gratified by the removal: for Willett’s previous assessment of appointments in New York, including remarks on Davis as a candidate, see his letter to TJ of 4 May 1801.

A New York merchant and founding member of the Tammany Society, Ebenezer Stevens began serving in 1794 as U.S. agent for erecting the fortifications at New York. In October and November 1801, he continued to superintend the construction of fortifications on Governor’s Island (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:523n; Washington, Papers, Pres. Ser. description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, Charlottesville, 1983–, 48 vols.: Presidential Series, 1987–, 12 vols. description ends , 3:228; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 21:465–6).

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