Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Michael Leib, 6 April 1801

From Michael Leib

Philadelphia April 6th 1801


Presuming that the inspector of the Revenue for this district will be removed, permit me to express a wish, that the vacancy may be supplied by my brother John L. Leib

My friend General Muhlenberg has authorised me to say, that it would be highly gratifying to him, that my brother should be placed in this situation. The relation subsisting between the Supervisor & inspectors renders it desireable to him, that persons in whom he has confidence should fill the offices subordinate to the one which he is to occupy, & he has been kind enough to assure me, that he prefers my brother to any one who has been named for this district

It is with considerable reluctance, Sir, that I approach you in this way; but you will pardon me, when you consider, that I have presumed upon your indulgence at the instance of a brother, & one too who has suffered in his professional pursuits on account of his zeal for our cause—

With Sentiments of sincere respect I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant

M Leib

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Apr. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off.”

Michael Leib (1760–1822), son of a German immigrant, studied medicine with Benjamin Rush, received a commission as a surgeon in the Philadelphia militia in 1780, and after the Revolution became one of the leading physicians in the city. He began his transition to politics in 1793 as a founding member and secretary of the German Republican Society in Philadelphia and as an active member of the Democratic Society of Pennsylvania. An early advocate of Jeffersonian principles, he served in Congress from 1799 to 1806 and in the Senate from 1809 to 1814. In the factionalism that emerged in Republican politics in Pennsylvania after the election of 1800, Leib joined with William Duane against Governor McKean and Tench Coxe. He later split with Gallatin and the Madison administration (Biog. Dir. Cong.; ANB). description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends

John L. Leib was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1795 (Martin’s Bench and Bar description begins John H. Martin, Martin’s Bench and Bar of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1883 description ends , 286). The four revenue inspectors in Pennsylvania were not removed in 1801 (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 1:400–4; ASP, description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. Bear, Family Letters Edwin M. Betts and James A. Bear, Jr., eds., Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Columbia, Mo., 1966 description ends Miscellaneous, 1:282).

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