Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Linn, 1 May 1801

From James Linn

City of Washington 1st May 1801


In March last I took the liberty to mention to you some names for appointments in Jersey—Upon returning home I was happy to find that it would be very pleasing to the republicans to have George Maxwell appointed district Attorney, and that even the federalists expected he would be honored with that appointment—As to the office of Marshal, I had some doubts whether Doctor Barnett the gentleman whose name I mentioned for that appointment would accept of it—but I find that if he is honored with that appointment he will not hesitate in accepting of it—

From a conversation which I had a few days ago with Mr. Southard of New Jersey who is elected a representative to the next congress, I find that a Mr. Rozell has obtained a recommendation from some respectable characters for the appointment of Supervisor—But Mr Southard informed me that at the time he signed the recommendation of Mr. Rozell he did not know that my name had been mentioned for that office, and that he did not think any of the gentlemen who favored Mr. Rozell’s application knew [of] that circumstance, and had he known it he would not have been concerned in the application of Mr. Rozell—

I took the liberty to address to you from New Jersey in March last a letter on the subject of this appointment, which I expect has been received—

I would beg leave to observe that there will be a severe contest in Jersey between the republicans and federalists for the state government—the event is very doubtful—We think that the offices in that state under the general government being put into the hands of the republicans would be powerful auxiliaries in this important contest, And therefore we look forward with anxiety for the period to arrive when the influence which these appointments naturally give shall be directed towards the overthrow of an aristocracy which disregards the happiness of our citizens, and solely aims at the agrandisement of a few ambitious men—

I am Sir your most Huml. Sevt.

James Linn

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); torn; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 May and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off.”

Appointments in Jersey: see Notes on New Jersey Patronage, Vol. 33:183–4.

Henry Southard, Ebenezer Elmer, and James Mott, New Jersey representatives to the Seventh Congress, signed an undated certificate directed to the Treasury secretary recommending William Rossell as supervisor of the revenue for the state (MS in DNA: RG 59, LAR; in Elmer’s hand). Perhaps the recommendation was enclosed in a letter from Joseph Bloomfield to Aaron Burr dated 8 Apr. The Republican leader in New Jersey noted that Rossell had requested that he send a letter of introduction to Albert Gallatin, but having no acquaintance with the secretary of the Treasury Bloomfield wrote his “old friend” the vice president instead. In a 21 Apr. letter to Gallatin, Burr noted that he had transmitted “sundry documents and recommendations in favor of Wm: Rossell of Mount Holly for the office of supervisor of New Jersey” to TJ. Burr also confided to Gallatin that he had “passed some hours” with Rossell and conceived him “far superior” to James Linn, “his Competitor.” TJ endorsed the Bloomfield letter: “Rossell Wm. 1801 recd. Apr. 29” (RC in same; Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:555–8, 566–7). See also Burr to TJ, 21 Apr. 1801. For Linn’s letter to TJ on the subject of this appointment, see Vol. 33:432.

Index Entries