Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Levi Lincoln, 30 January 1803

From Levi Lincoln

Jany 30th. 1803

Mr Lincoln’s best respects to the President. he has no doubt of the propriety & utility, as it respects Stevens for Whittemore, & Story, for Pickman—but as to the successor of Fosdick, he is unable to determine—Mr Lincoln will have the honor of dining with the President on tuesday next—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 30 Jan. and “nomns. Stevens Story Illsley” and so recorded in SJL.

successor of fosdick: TJ saw a letter addressed to Madison by James Deering and five others dated 21 Jan. recommending Isaac Ilsley as collector at Portland and Falmouth if the president removed Nathaniel F. Fosdick. Ilsley was noted for his “good sense, integrity and abilities” as well as “his firm and avowed attachment to the present administration.” The signers were careful to stipulate that they had “no idea of suggesting any thing against the abilities of Mr. Fosdick.” While a “very few” might be against his removal, they observed, the appointment of Ilsley would give “general satisfaction” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; signed by Deering, James Jewitt, Albert Newhall, Henry Sitcomb, Enoch Preble, and Salmon Chase; endorsed by TJ: “Isaac Ilsley to be collector v. Fosdyck”). TJ also viewed a letter that was critical of Fosdick. On 18 Oct. 1802, William Wilson wrote Robert Smith from Portland advocating Fosdick’s removal, noting that in political debates he was “the most vociferous in his personal invectives” and made “scandulous remarks on the private and public conduct of the President.” Wilson recommended Richard Hunewell for the collectorship, but he was already surveyor and inspector, having been appointed by Adams in December 1800 (RC in same, endorsed by TJ: “Wilson wm. to Robert Smith Hunniwell Richard Collector of Portland. v. Fosdyck”; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States…to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:357; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832-61, 38 vols. description ends , Miscellaneous, 1:265). For Lincoln’s view on the removal of Fosdick and other Federalists in Massachusetts, see his letters to TJ of 6 and 13 Dec.

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