Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from William Findley and John Smilie, 27 March 1804

From William Findley and John Smilie

[27 Mch. 1804]

The Subscribers have for a number of years past been well acquainted with John Badolet Esqr, Associate Judge for the County of Green in the state of pennsylva, have a high opinion of his Integrity and talents and with Confidence recommend him to the president of the United states as a suitable person to be appointed for Register of the land office to be established at Vincenes we being persuaded that in addition to his talents his prudence and Industry will do honor to the appointment

Wm Findley

John Smilie

P.S. I have myself done public bussiness in connection with Mr Badolet with Great Satisfaction

Wm Findley

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); in Findley’s hand, signed by both; undated; at foot of text: “The president”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Mch. 1804 and “Badolet John. to be register Ld. office Vincennes” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Gallatin to TJ, 28 Mch. (first letter).

A native of Ireland, John Smilie (1741-1812) sailed from Belfast to Philadelphia in 1762 and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He served in the American Revolution and represented Lancaster in the general assembly from 1779 to 1780. He then moved to western Pennsylvania and established a 300-acre farm in Fayette County. He continued to be elected to public office, serving in the state legislature and the executive council. An Antifederalist, Smilie, along with William Findley, voted against the ratification of the U.S. Constitution at the Harrisburg Convention in 1787. Both were members of the state constitutional convention of 1790. Smilie was elected to the Third Congress and cast his vote for TJ as an elector in 1796. Elected as a Republican to the Sixth Congress, he served in the House from 1799 until his death (Deirdre M. Mageean, “Emigration from Irish Ports,” Journal of American Ethnic History, 13 [1993], 11-12; Michael J. Faber, “Democratic Anti-Federalism: Rights, Democracy, and the Minority in the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention,” PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877- description ends , 138 [2014], 149-57; R. Eugene Harper, The Transformation of Western Pennsylvania, 1770-1800 [Pittsburgh, 1991], 111, 162-3; Philadelphia Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser, 21 Oct. 1779; National Intelligencer, 31 Dec. 1812, 2 Jan. 1813; Merrill Jensen, John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, and others, eds., The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, 27 vols. [Madison, Wis., 1976- ], 2:639, 728, 732; Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ).

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