Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Levi Lincoln, 29 October 1802

From Levi Lincoln

Worcester Octo 29th 1802


The Letter from Mr. Callender inclosed to me by Morton as also Mr Morton’s I do myself the honor to forward; I mean to follow them, in eight or ten days, if the situation of my family will permit. They are1 getting better exerpt my youngest whose situation appears to be critical. It not being probable, that any new commissioners of bankruptcy will be appointed in Boston immediately I shall not trouble you with my observations on Mr Callender’s character.

We are looking forward with impatience to next Monday. It is difficult to form any conjectures with respect to some of the districts, both parties appear to be confident. Great exertions are made. with the federalist it is violent; But in reference to the great object, it is the struggle of desperation. As usual, every species of falshood & abuse has been put in a state of requisition, and made to circulate. And falshood has the advantage of truth, in respect of the number of papers directed to it, and other facilities, to give it circulation. Nothing can exceed the virulence of some individuals on the occasion—The clergy are, apparently more cautious, but some of them insideously at work to continue the delusion, & excite to action. I think we have altered in some degree for the better—and shall still progress—The circuit Court proceeding to business, has mortified the violent of the party very much—It is said that Judge Cushing told Parsons, if the court were not competent to do the business, They had been incompetent to a great part of the business, that they had heretofore done—I never had any doubts of the courts sitting & doing the business assinged them, by the last law—

I take the liberty of forwarding a letter from a Mr Cross—He appears to feel very sensably his situation. It is mortifying, what can be done for him, I don’t know—I am myself convinced that the Government must be supported by the republicans—From persons of opposite politicks it will never be countenanced, but the reverse—Every measure of theirs furnishes proof, that republicans must depend solely on themselves—

I have the honor to be with perfect respect your most obt Sert

Levi Lincoln

RC (DLC); at head of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Nov. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) John Callender to TJ, 20 Sep. (2) Perez Morton to Lincoln, Dorchester, Massachusetts, 4 Oct., enclosing Callender’s “Application” to TJ; Morton often declines writing recommendations for people seeking office, but due to his acquaintance with Callender he will state “what I consider to be the grounds of his pretensions”; Morton has always heard that Callender acted with “Integrity and capacity” in his previous position as bankruptcy commissioner; in politics, Callender “has undoubtedly been attached” to the previous presidential administration, but he is “decent and respectful” toward the present government; Callender told Morton that receiving an appointment from TJ would “make a deep and lasting impression of Gratitude” on Callender’s mind; if there are to be any further appointments of bankruptcy commissioners, Morton suggests giving “serious consideration” to Callender’s application (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by a clerk). (3) Stephen Cross to Lincoln, Newburyport, 20 Sep., saying that he does not know Lincoln or anyone else near the president but feels he must write, “feeling myself deeply wounded to find myself abandoned by President Jefferson and those with whom he advises after what services I did thro’ our Revolution and suffering in such a manner since from those whose Political sentiments I differ”; he was a Massachusetts collector of impost and excise until he became the first U.S. customs collector of Newburyport; the Essex Junto, finding him a “Stubborn Republican,” plotted to obtain his ouster, and Alexander Hamilton never told him the reason he was removed; the Junto has undermined Republicans’ efforts to elect him to office, including a seat in Congress; thus he has been “Crushed” by his “Political enemies” and left with “no support from any friends who have it in their Power” to fill positions; it was widely expected that Cross would be “restored” as collector following TJ’s election; no one thought “that I should have been neglected and my Brother appointed both a Commissioner on the Bankrupt Act, and also Collector of this Port”; Cross would like to see Lincoln in Boston but does not know when Lincoln will be there or how to arrange an interview (RC in same; endorsed by TJ: “Cross Stephen Newbury port to mr Lincoln. for emploiment”).

MONDAY, 1 Nov., was election day in Massachusetts (Boston Republican Gazetteer, 20 Oct.).

On 20 Oct., the United States CIRCUIT COURT for Massachusetts opened its session in Boston. The members of the court were William CUSHING of the U.S. Supreme Court and John Davis, the federal district judge for Massachusetts (Boston Independent Chronicle, 21 Oct.).

PARSONS: the Federalist attorney Theophilus Parsons (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Vol. 33:15, 16, 671, 674).

1MS: “a.”

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