Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Bryan, 24 July 1807

Philadelphia July 24th. 1807


My uniform & inflexible adherence to the genuine principles of representative Government for upwards of thirty years, amidst trials & seductions which have thoroughly tested my principles & firmness, encourages me to look with confidence to the patriotic sympathy and patronage of the present Executive of the Union—The Democratic members of Congress feeling in common with the Democratic Party a lively regret for my removal from Office recommended me to the President about 18 months ago for the Office of Collector of this Port on the event of General Muhlenbergs death or removal, who was then very ill. From the information given me by my friends in Congress at that time of the friendly disposition of the President, combined with the great gratification & encouragement my appointment to that Office would give to the Republican Party I have derived great hopes of succeeding Mr. Muhlenberg in case of his death which is near at hand from the nature of his disease—

I would have been elected State Treasurer at the last Session of the Legislature if the Republican Party had had a decided majority, but it being ascertained that two of the members who ranked with that Party had been gained so far as to declare they would not vote for me, it was determined at a Caucus previously held to withdraw my name—Mr. Boileau in a Letter written me subsequent to the Election expressed his regret that this secession produced by the intrigues of the Federalists & Quids had obliged the Republican Party to substitute another Candidate, as in his opinion I had been the most able, vigilant & impartial Officer Pennsylvania ever had, and had been very unjustly dealt with on account of my inflexible principles.

I have a numerous young Family dependent upon me for support and education, and owing to my public spirit and benevolent support of poor relatives I am at the age of upwards of Fifty years of age destitute of the pecuniary means of providing for them—

Enclosed is a copy of a printed Circular Letter addressed by me to the Republican members of the late Legislature—

If I did not know how much Sir your time is occupied by the national concerns I would go into a detail of my conduct as an Officer & politician—There is on File in the Office of Mr. Gallatin* divers documents to show the part I took in the years 1787, 1788 &ca. to procure suitable amendments to the Federal Constitution—My strictures on this Constitution were the first that appeared on that occasion, under the signature of Centinel. The Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of this State which adopted the Federal Constitution were written by me & are recorded in Cary’s Museum—Those documents will also show the conspicuous part I took on another very interesting occasion

Having spent all the vigor of youth and middle age in an arduous support of fiscal and political integrity I am desirous to retire into the calm & tranquility of the Office of Collector of this Port, leaving active politics to younger men; I feel to want rest from the tempestuous scenes I have gone through, in opposing the Aristocracy—

With the most exalted sentiments of esteem I conclude with my fervent wishes for your welfare & continuance at the head of our Government—

I am Sir your mo. ob. servant

Saml. Bryan

*(Deposited therein about six years ago)

DNA: RG 59—LAR—Letters of Application and Recommendation.

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