From John A. Hanna
Harrisburg Aug: 7th 1803
Presuming that from the cession of Louisiana to the US: a number of offices will be in the gift of the Executive I take the liberty to mention my name—My Family is large and my means small when compared with the manner in which they have been educated—I was brought up to the Law, and would have practised still, had not imperious, (and I may say Republican)1 necessity forced me to stand a Candidate for the Legislature—I will be at Washington in due time when I will have the honer of communicating more freely with the President
I am Sir with great Respect your Obedt Servant
John A Hanna
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 17 Aug. and “office” and so recorded in SJL.
Born in Flemington, New Jersey, John Andre Hanna (1761 or 1762-1805) was the son of Mary McCrea and John Hanna, a Presbyterian clergyman. The younger Hanna graduated from the College of New Jersey at Princeton in 1782. Three years later he began practicing law in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and married Mary Read Harris, of the founding family of Harrisburg. In 1787, Hanna served as a delegate to the state convention considering the new federal Constitution. He voted against ratification and was one of the 21 members of the dissenting minority who signed the address to the public setting forth objections to the document. He was secretary of the 1788 Harrisburg convention of Antifederalists who proposed amendments to the Constitution. Hanna represented Dauphin County in the state senate from 1792 to 1794. A general in the militia, he led troops to quell the Whiskey Insurrection in western Pennsylvania. Elected to Congress as a Jeffersonian Republican in 1796, Hanna continued to serve as a Pennsylvania congressman until his death (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians, 1776-1783: A Biographical Dictionary [Princeton, 1981], 363-6; Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Commencing on Tuesday, the Fourth Day of December, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Two [Philadelphia, 1793], 4-5, 70-2; Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Commencing on Tuesday, the Third Day of December, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Three [Philadelphia, 1794], 4, 248).
1. Closing parenthesis supplied by Editors.