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To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Cutts, 25 November 1803

From Richard Cutts

Washington Novr. 25th. 1803


Agreeable to your wish—I have made every enquiry respecting the situation1 of Joseph Tucker Collector of the district of York &c in Maine & feel no hesitation in saying that the Public good requires his removal from office, for continued intoxication

At the same time I will take the liberty to name Samuel Derby of York—as a suitable person to be appointed successor to Mr Tucker, being an old revolutionary Officer—at present holding the most responsible Offices in the gift of his fellow Townsmen & the best recommended—gives him the preference to all other candidates in my humble opinion—

I am Sir, with sentiments of high respect & esteem—yr Humbe. Sert.

Richd Cutts

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); torn at endorsement; at head of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Nov. and “Saml. Derby to be Collectr. of York vice Tucker. a [sot]” and so recorded in SJL.

agreeable to your wish: for TJ’s request that Cutts inquire into the facts relating to the collectorship at York, see Vol. 39:358. In January 1803, TJ had received a memorial from the town committee at York in favor of retaining joseph tucker (same, 358-60). On 30 Sep., Tucker wrote the Treasury secretary that he understood that complaints against him had been made to Cutts. He assured Gallatin that the accusations were “entirely groundless, and false” and were made to obtain his office. Tucker requested “a fair investigation” before the president took any action (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Tucker Joseph. Collectr. of York. Sep. 30. 03. to mr Gallatin”).

revolutionary officer: Samuel Derby was promoted to major of the 7th Massachusetts Regiment in 1778, the rank he held when he left the army in 1783 (Washington, Papers description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, Edward C. Lengel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, Charlottesville, 1983- , 60 vols.: Confed. Ser., 1992-97, 6 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1987- , 18 vols.; Ret. Ser., 1998-99, 4 vols.; Rev. War Ser., 1985- , 22 vols. description ends , Rev. War Ser. , 3:293). most responsible offices: in 1801, Derby began representing York in the Massachusetts General Court. TJ sent Derby’s nomination as collector and inspector of the revenue at York to the Senate on 9 Dec. Derby held the office until his death in January 1807 (Charles Edward Banks, History of York Maine, 2 vols. [Baltimore, 1967], 2:359-60; Newburyport American Intelligencer, and General Advertiser, 11 June 1801; Boston Republican Gazetteer, 9 June 1802; Newburyport Herald, 7 June 1803; Portsmouth New-Hampshire Gazette, 13 Jan. 1807; TJ to the Senate, 9 Dec.).

1MS: “sitaution.”

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