Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Freeman, 1 May 1793

From Samuel Freeman

Portland May 1. 1793


Considering it of the utmost importance that a knowledge of the Laws of the United States should be generally circulated—and that they are printed in no part of this extensive and increasing District (the District of Maine) I readily joined in an Application to you Sir, which I signed yesterday requesting that they might be printed in the Gazette of Maine. As the Gentlemen who have signed the same Application are probably all Strangers to you, I take the liberty to assure you that they are Gentlemen of the first Character in this Town, and many of them the most eminent Merchants here. You will doubtless consider me as no less a Stranger than the other Gentlemen. I beg leave therefore to refer you to the Honorable Timothy Pickering Esqr. Post Master General, under whom I have the Honor to serve as a Deputy Post Master in this place.

Mr. Titcomb the Printer of the abovementioned Paper is a worthy young Gentleman who would be happy to serve the Public in any way within his Power. His Paper is well executed and has a general1 circulation, particularly among the mercantile part of the Community and excepting the Eastern Herald, which I am told2 is not so generally taken by the Merchants3 in this Town, is the only Paper printed within the District.

The expediency of the measure is pointed out in the Application. Your own Judgment, will doubtless concur therein. I need not therefore add but that I am with the most profound respect Your most obedient, and very humble Servant

Sam Freeman

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); endorsed by TJ as received 10 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL.

Samuel Freeman (1742–1831), a native and lifelong resident of Portland, Maine, served as delegate to and secretary of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1775–76 and 1778 and had lengthy, concurrent tenures as clerk of Cumberland County’s courts, register and later judge of probate, postmaster, town selectman, and parish deacon. He wrote several popular legal handbooks and edited the journal of the pioneering Maine clergyman Thomas Smith (William Willis, The History of Portland, 2d ed. [Portland, Me., 1865], 745, 746–7n).

1MS: “generally.”

2Preceding three words interlined.

3Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries