Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Brown, 5 December 1802

From John Brown

Frankfort 5th. Decr. 1802


Thinking it probable that the vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr Clark late first Judge for the Indiana Territory has not yet been filled, I take the liberty hereby to recommend to your Notice, William Garrard Esqr. of this State, as well quallified for that Office. Mr Garrard is son of Colo Garrard our present Governor, & now about thirty two years of age. He completed his Education at Carlisle College, & having read Law with attention under the direction of Colo. Geo. Nicholas has been, for eight or ten years past a practitioner at the Bar. He is a Gentn. of sound, independent mind, temperate, of conciliatory manners, & unsullied reputation. Indeed I know of no one among my acquaintances to whom the appointment would be an object, who in my opinion would fill it with greater ability & integrity than Mr Garrard

I have the Honor to be with profound respect Sir Your most obedient1 & very Hbe Sevt.

J: Brown

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. President of the U. States”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Dec. and “Garrard Wm. Kentucky. to be judge of Indiana” and so recorded in SJL.

william garrard was not nominated for the Indiana judgeship, but in March 1808 TJ appointed him a commissioner for settling land claims in the Opelousas District of the Orleans Territory (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934-75, 28 vols. description ends , 9:778).

carlisle college: that is, Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Virginia native George nicholas, a brother of Wilson Cary Nicholas and Kentucky’s first attorney general, had declined appointments as U.S. attorney for Kentucky in 1789 and 1793. He died in Lexington in 1799 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau, Federal Courts in the Early Republic: Kentucky, 1789–1816 [Princeton, 1978], 68–9; Vol. 24:707n; Vol. 26:507–8; Vol. 31:172n).

On 8 Dec., Brown paid $2.50 to William Hunter for TJ’s subscription to the Frankfort, Kentucky, Palladium, for the year ending 1 Aug. 1802. Brown had also paid TJ’s subscription in 1800 and 1801 (receipt in MHi, dated 8 Dec. 1802, in Hunter’s hand and signed by him, endorsed by John Barnes; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767-1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1018, 1035; Vol. 37:312).

1MS: “obedidient.”

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