Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Brobson and John Warner, 8 February 1803

From James Brobson and John Warner

Wilmington Feby 8th. 1803


We enclose you a recommendation signed by ourselves & a number of respectable Republican Inhabitants of this Borough in favor of Conl. Nehemiah Tilton, to which we beg leave to draw your attention; being well convinced that his appointment will give the most general satisfaction to the Republicans of this place. at the same time we believe it will meet the approbation of our fellow citizens of the same sentiment in other parts of the State (The Town of NewCastle from local views excepted) for any further information however on this subject we woud refer you to the Govenor who is decidedly in favor of Conl. Tilton and has taken much pain to collect the public sentiment on this point, his official station as the Chief Executive magistrate of the State enables him to give that advice which may we respectfully apprehend be relied on, Shoud additional weight be necessary, we have no doubt but that our Representative (elect) (who has from motives of peculiar delicacy relative to this business declined interfering with the nomination of a suitable person) woud unite with us in opinion in case of a vacancy

we are Sir with sincere regard Your Obedt. Servts.

Jas Brobson

John Warner

RC (DLC); in Brobson’s hand, signed by Brobson and Warner; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Prest. of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Feb. and “Nehemiah Tilton to be Collector, vice Mc.lane” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

James Brobson (1759–1833) and John Warner (1773?-1825) were Wilmington merchants active in the West Indies trade. Guided by Caesar A. Rodney’s recommendation, TJ appointed them bankruptcy commissioners in early July 1802. They both supported the erection of a drawbridge in Wilmington, a project vigorously opposed by merchants in New Castle from 1802 to 1807, when the Wilmington Bridge Company was incorporated, with Warner as a director. Brobson periodically served as chief burgess of Wilmington between 1801 and 1826. In that capacity he joined Nehemiah Tilton in 1801 to congratulate TJ on his election. Madison appointed Brobson U.S. marshal for the district of Delaware in May 1809, a position he held for many years, receiving his last nomination for a four-year-term in December 1825. In 1802, Rodney described Warner as “our most influential, active politician.” He was a director of the Bank of Delaware, a founding director of the Farmers’ Bank of Wilmington, and a member of the Delaware Abolition Society. In 1815, Madison appointed him U.S. consul to Puerto Rico. He was serving as U.S. commercial agent at Havana at the time of his death. As a public officer, it was observed, “his conduct was marked by a distinguished charity and attention to the unfortunate” (John A. Munroe, Federalist Delaware, 1775–1815 [New Brunswick, N.J., 1954], 135, 246, 252–3; J. Thomas Scharf, The History of Delaware, 1609–1888, 2 vols. [Philadelphia, 1888], 2:637, 639, 671, 733–4, 739, 758–9; Benjamin Ferris, A History of the Original Settlements on the Delaware: From Its Discovery by Hudson to the Colonization under William Penn [Wilmington, Del., 1846], 274; 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 , 2:122, 3:96, 109, 258, 273, 448, 457; Daily National Intelligencer, 19 May 1825; Madison, Papers, Pres. Ser., 1:192–3; James F. Hopkins and others, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, 11 vols. [Lexington, Ky., 1959–92], 4:119, 216–17n; Vol. 33:211–12; Vol. 37:678, 680n, 705, 709).

refer you to the govenor: for David Hall’s endorsement of Nehemiah Tilton as collector, see Vol. 37:518.

our representative (elect): Caesar A. Rodney.

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