Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Aaron Burr, 25 May 1801

From Aaron Burr

N, york 25 May 1801

Dear Sir,

A very respectable republican character of R. Island, has desired me to suggest to you that it would in his opinion be politic to appoint Mr. How[ell] (late Commissr. on the St. Croix line) district atty. Next to Ho[wel]l, he recommends Nathl. S[ear]le—I am inclined to believe that the recommendation is discreet & the designation, Judicious; but you have probably, at hand, the means of further information—

If the Office of Comr. of Loans, or Loan officer for this State should become Vacant, our James Nicholson, commonly called Commodore Nicholson, would I suspect be gratified by the appointment—He is very much and very deservedly beloved in this City—is a man of business and one whose integrity inspires universal confidence—This Notice of him would be particularly grateful to the republicans in this City and State and could afford, to the enemies of the administration, no ground for malevolent comment—

With great respect and attachment, I am Dear Sir Your friend & Servt.

A; Burr

I shall not Visit you at Washn. as proposed in my last, nor can I now say when I may have that pleasure

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); cut, with missing letters supplied in brackets; at foot of text: “Th. Jefferson Prest. U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 May and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “Commodr. Nicholson to be Commr. Loans. N.Y.”

David Howell had served on the commission that, under the provisions of the Jay Treaty, settled the St. Croix River boundary between Maine and the British province of New Brunswick. Both Nathaniel Searle, Jr., and Nathaniel Searle, Sr., were lawyers, and it is not clear which was the prospect for the U.S. attorney’s position (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:587–8n; Vol. 30:284). In November 1801, TJ named James Nicholson the commissioner of loans for New York (Vol. 33:670, 677).

Burr’s last letter, which according to SJL was written at New York on 20 May and received by TJ on the 23d, has not been found.

Index Entries