From Clement Storer and Others
Portsmouth N.H. Feby 10th. 1803
Expecting that the Office of District Judge for the New-Hampshire District will soon be vacant, and sensible of the difficulty of distinguishing suitable Characters at this distance from the Seat of Government. We the undersign’d beg leave to recommend Jonathan Steele of Durham in said District Esquire to fill that Office. We believe it has been usual where the merits of the Candidates have been in other respects equal, for the District Attorney to succeed to the Office of District Judge but there is no person in this District in whose abilities integrity and principles the community will place greater confidence than in those of Mr Steele his education and profession, being a Lawyer, have been suitable for a Candidate to that Office. You may be assured Sir that in makeing this recommendation we are not influenced by partial motives but as well from a wish that no person may be appointed to that Office in whose integrity the people cannot place confidence as from a conviction that Mr Steele will be more acceptable to the friends of Government and at the same time less obnoxious to others than any other Candidate.—
With high Respect We are Sir Your Mot. Ob. Servts.
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); in an unidentified hand, signed by all; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson—President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 Mch. and “Steele to be district judge; not Sherburne” and so recorded in SJL.
A physician and merchant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Clement Storer (1760–1830) was elected as a Democratic Republican to serve in the House of Representatives from 1807 to 1809 and in the U.S. Senate from 1817 to 1819, where he chaired the Committee on the Militia. He became a major general in the state militia and was commander of the First Militia Brigade in 1812. He served as sheriff of Rockingham County from 1818 to 1824 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; Lynn Warren Turner, The Ninth State: New Hampshire’s Formative Years [Chapel Hill, 1983], 270, 290; Charles M. Wiltse and others, eds., The Papers of Daniel Webster: Correspondence, 7 vols. [Hanover, N.H., 1974–86], 1:103n). In 1802, Storer and Elijah Hall were elected as Republicans to the state house of representatives and John Goddard to the senate. Hall and Edward Cutts were selectmen at Portsmouth in 1802 and 1803. Later, Hall served as Republican councillor from Rockingham County. Edward Cutts, Goddard, and Jonathan Steele were among those recommended by John S. Sherburne, the district attorney, as bankruptcy commissioners at Portsmouth. John Langdon recommended Goddard, John McClintock, and Charles Cutts. TJ appointed Goddard and McClintock (Portsmouth New-Hampshire Gazette, 2 Mch., 31 Aug. 1802, 5 Apr. 1803; Turner, Ninth State, 282; Vol. 37:462–3, 577, 621, 689, 698, 703, 707).