Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 23 June 1792

To James Monroe

Philadelphia. June 23. 1792.

Dear Sir

Supposing the particulars of the New York election interesting to you, I will give you a statement of the votes, as follows.

Clinton Jay
Suffolk  481. 228
Queen’s county  532 288
King’s county  244 92
City & County of N.Y.  603 739
Orange  551 80
Dutchess  751 945
West-Chester  347 824
Richmond  106. 4
Ulster  947 654
Columbia 1303 717
Renslaer  404 717
Washington  758 471
Saratoga  405 461
Albany  444 1178
Montgomery  306 424
Herkimer  247 401
Ontario   28 92
8457 8315

On the result of these votes, Clinton was declared elected. The Canvassers set aside the votes of the county of Otsego, where Jay had about 850. and Clinton 150. which would have given a majority to Jay. The reason of setting them aside was that the election was held by the sheriff of the last year, the new one not being yet qualified. The Jayites say he was sheriff de facto, and therefore his proceedings, being in favor of public right, are valid: and that it was Clinton’s fault that there was not a new sheriff.

The Clintonians answer that a new commission had been in good time delivered to Judge Cooper, the Bashaw of Otsego, and furious partisan of Jay, who finding the ex-sheriff strongly in favor of Jay, and the new one neutral, kept the commission in his pocket: they say that had all the good1 votes set aside for irregularity in all the counties, been admitted, Clinton has a majority, that in Otsego particularly far the greater part were the votes of persons unqualified. For instance, in the town of Otsego where were only 18. qualified voters, upwards of 500. votes were recieved for Mr. Jay.—Among the attacks on Clinton has been an endeavor to prove him concerned in Mc.Comb’s great purchase. They therefore took Mc.Comb’s deposition. He swore that Clinton was not, as far as he knew or believed, concerned in that purchase: but that in a purchase he made of ten townships of 10. miles square each on the St. Lawrence, he had partners, to wit, Genl. Schuyler, Renslaer his son in Law, Colo. Hamilton, Genl. Knox, Ogden, and two or three others whose names I forget.—Upon the whole it seems probable that Mr. Jay had a majority of the qualified voters, and I think not only that Clinton would have honored himself by declining to accept, and agreeing to take another fair start, but that probably such a conduct would have ensured him a majority on a new election. To retain the office when it is probable the majority was against him is dishonorable. However there is no symptom of his refusing the office on this election and from the tumultuous proceedings of Mr. Jay’s partizans, it seems as if the state would be thrown into convulsions. It has silenced all clamour about their bankruptcies.—Brandt is arrived here.—Nothing else new or interesting but what the papers will give you. My best affections to Mrs. Monroe, and believe me to be Dear Sir your sincere friend & servt.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NN); addressed: “Colo. James Monroe Charlottesville”; franked and postmarked. PrC (DLC). Tr (DLC); 19th-century copy.

1Word interlined.

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