From Samuel Smith
Balto 14 Nov 1801
Since writing my Letter of this Morning, Mr. John Donnell (one of our Republican & most wealthy Merchts.) put into my hand the Inclosed Letter from his Father in Law Mr. Isaac Smith on whose subject I have already written Mr. Gallatin. Mr. Smith was Collector under the King, is a man of Business highly respectable & Invariably a Whig—Mr. Bowdon is also his son in Law—Mr. Savage the New Member of Congress is also Connected with him & I do really believe that his being appointed will have a very excellent effect in the Counties of Northampton & Accomack—the Federalism of those Counties is modest & means right. they only want Information
I had already written to Mr Gallatin on this subject & sincerely wish that the appointment of Mr. Smith, because I am Confident It will have an excellent effect—your friend & servt.
RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 15 Nov. and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by a Treasury Department clerk. Enclosure: Extract of Isaac Smith to John Donnell, Northampton, 5 Nov., expressing his “wish to be appointed Collector of the Custom for the port of Cherryton” and noting that Peter Bowdoin had already been offered the position, according to James Taylor, son-in-law of Thomas Newton, and rejected it, recommending the writer instead (Tr in NHi: Gallatin Papers, in an unidentified hand, with notation in Samuel Smith’s hand: “NB—Mr Bowdoin is Son in Law to Mr. Smith”; 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 , 5:968). Enclosed in TJ to Gallatin, 16 Nov.
I have already written Mr. Gallatin: on 11 Nov., Samuel Smith wrote the Treasury secretary recommending Isaac Smith for the post at Cherrystone. He described Smith as an “honest upright Intelligent Man” who was “related to all the most respectable People” in the county. He was a Federalist, as were almost all men in Accomac and Northampton counties, “but their Federalism arose from their fear of the goverment being in Danger, not of the Vicious kind that we have witnessed” (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 , 6:13). On 17 Nov., Samuel Smith again wrote Gallatin recommending Isaac Smith. He enclosed a letter from Smith to John Donnell, of 9 Nov., confirming that Bowdoin had declined the office and had recommended Isaac Smith to James Taylor as a “proper person” for the position. Isaac Smith also thanked Donnell for offering to serve as his security. In closing, he noted, “I Shall be obliged to you to do the best you can for me in the business, and to lose no time, as there will be other applications” (same, 5:979; 6:51).
Savage the new member of congress: perhaps either Nathaniel L. or George Savage, who served as representatives of Northampton County in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1776, the same year Isaac Smith served as state senator representing Accomac and Northampton counties. Washington appointed George Savage customs collector at Cherrystone in 1789, a position he held until early 1790 (Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 123–4; 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 , 4:318).