Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 3 March 1804

To Henry Dearborn

Mar. 3. 1804.

Th:J. to Genl. Dearborne

On the vacating of Judge Pickering’s office I shall be obliged to nominate another before the rising of the Senate. J. Langdon has recommended Sherburne. a much more powerful representation is made against him and in favr. of Jonathan Steele. tho’ it is probable the witnesses attending the impeachment from that state may have been prepared to give particular opinions, yet perhaps in a free and easy conversation which should not appear to look towards this question, some impartial information may be got from them. if you are on such a footing with any of them as to be able to get me any just information on the subject I shall be much obliged to you to see them & communicate what you learn. affectionate salutations

RC (PWacD: Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP); addressed: “The Secretary at War”; endorsed by Dearborn. Not recorded in SJL.

recommended sherburne: see John Langdon to TJ, 20 Jan. 1803 and 13 Feb. 1804. For those in favor of Jonathan Steele, see Vol. 39:491-2; Vol. 40:261-2.

The witnesses in John Pickering’s impeachment, all Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Republicans, included John S. Sherburne; Steele; Michael McClary, U.S. marshal; Joseph Whipple, customs collector; Richard Cutts Shannon, attorney and bankruptcy commissioner; Thomas Chadbourn, deputy marshal; Edward Hart, a deputy sheriff who knew Pickering for at least 25 years; and Ebenezer Chadwick, another deputy acquainted with Pickering for 22 years (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834-56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , 13:328, 350-9; Lynn Warren Turner, The Ninth State: New Hampshire’s Formative Years [Chapel Hill, 1983], 214; Vol. 41:627-8). For a description of the 1803 depositions given by several of the witnesses, see Vol. 39:422-4n. TJ nominated Sherburne as U.S. district judge before Congress adjourned (TJ to the Senate, 22 Mch.).

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