Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Tristram Dalton, 19 August 1802

From Tristram Dalton

City of Washington 19th August 1802


Last evening I had the pleasure to receive from my long valued Friend E Gerry Esqr, a Letter, accompanied by One for Yourself, which he requests me to enclose and forward to Monticello under my own Cover. This I now have the Honor to do, and embrace the opportunity to pray You to be assured that

I am, with the highest Respect, Sir, Your obliged, and most obed. hble. Servt

Tristram Dalton

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Elbridge Gerry to TJ, 9 Aug.

Tristram Dalton (1738–1817), a native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard College, became a merchant, and entered politics. He served as a U.S. senator from 1789 to 1791 and treasurer of the Mint from 1792 to 1794. He moved to the Federal City, where he speculated in city lots and became a director of the Washington branch of the Bank of the United States. In March 1801, John Adams appointed him a commissioner of the District of Columbia, a position that Dalton held until the board ceased its operations on 1 June 1802. Adams also named Dalton a justice of the peace, but he was among the appointees who did not receive their commissions after TJ became president. In June 1802, TJ nominated Dalton as a bankruptcy commissioner, but he declined the office. He also turned down the customs collectorship at Newburyport. He later returned to New England, where during Madison’s presidency he accepted an appointment as surveyor of customs at Boston (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; 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, 1983– , 55 vols.  Colonial Ser., 10 vols.  Confederation Ser., 6 vols.  Pres. Ser., 15 vols.  Retirement Ser., 4 vols.  Rev. War Ser., 20 vols. description ends ., 7:459n; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States . . . to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:121–2, 156; Vol. 23:482n; Vol. 33:481n; Vol. 35:46–7n; Vol. 36:314; Vol. 37:523, 698, 709; TJ to Gallatin, 9, 13 July 1802).

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