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To Thomas Jefferson from Gideon Granger, 30 October 1802

From Gideon Granger

Trenton. Saturday. Oct: 30th 1802

Dr: Sir.

I am so far on my Journey to Washington after an absence of ten days from my family—In the Course of next week I shall reach the Seat of Govermt. my tardy progress arises from a severe cough & pain in my breast occasioned by a cold some weeks past. The Legislature of this State is exactly ballanced—They cannot agree on a Governor & will not unless the Tories yield. The Republicans have the President of the Senate who will officiate as Governor if no Choice takes place—he can and will (if necessary) appoint a Senator in the room of Ogden. Nothing is to be feared—I am more pleased with our friends in Jersey than ever—They have strength & will succeed, tho they have been out witted much to their own Mortification. In great haste

Yours Affectionately

Gidn Granger

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President.” Recorded in SJL as received 3 Nov.

EXACTLY BALLANCED: when the New Jersey legislature convened on 26 Oct., Federalists controlled the 39-member House of Assembly by one vote and elected William Coxe speaker. The Republicans controlled by one vote the second chamber, the Legislative Council, which consisted of one member from each county, 13 in all. They reelected Republican John Lambert vice president. On 28 Oct., the two chambers held a joint meeting to appoint the state’s governor and a U.S. senator. Voting along strict party lines, incumbent governor Joseph Bloomfield and Federalist candidate Richard Stockton each received 26 votes. The vote for a senator had the same outcome. Republican John Condit received 26 votes as did the incumbent Federalist senator Aaron Ogden. The impasse remaining unresolved, Lambert was given the power to OFFICIATE AS GOVERNOR on 15 Nov. He appointed Condit to the U.S. Senate in the summer of 1803. Condit took his seat when the Eighth Congress convened on 17 Oct. (Journal of the Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the State of New-Jersey, Convened, in General-Assembly, at Trenton, on Tuesday the Twenty-Sixth Day of October, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Two [Trenton, 1803], 150–4; Minutes and Proceedings of the Joint Meeting . . . October 28, 1802 [Trenton, 1803; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 4747]; Trenton True American, 1 Nov. 1802; 29 Aug., 24 Oct. 1803; Philadelphia Aurora, 1 Sep. 1803; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:295–6; Vol. 37:491n). Republicans regained control of the state legislature in the fall of 1803 (Walter R. Fee, The Transition from Aristocracy to Democracy in New Jersey, 1789–1829 [Somerville, N.J., 1933], 136–7). For partisan politics in New Jersey during the early years of TJ’s presidency, see same, 128–37, and Carl E. Prince, New Jersey’s Jeffersonian Republicans: The Genesis of an Early Party Machine, 1789–1817 (Chapel Hill, 1967), 98–107.

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