Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Jackson, 28 May 1801

To James Jackson

Washington May 28. 1801.

Dear Sir

Mr. Clay having declined his appointment as a Circuit judge, it becomes necessary to supply his place by another appointment. unacquainted as we are here with the different characters who might be considered as proper to fill the place, it becomes necessary to ask information from those who know the characters. your opinion on the subject would be peculiarly satisfactory to me. permit me therefore to ask the favor of you to give me information as to the characters you think best qualified for the appointment. it is unnecessary to mention to you that they should be good [lawyers,] of perfect integrity, and of republican principles. this latter qualification cannot be deemed an illiberal requisite, when we consider that offices having been so long given exclusively to those called federalists, it is but just that republicans should now [come in till there shall] be a due participation. the delay which has been already occasioned by distance, obliges me to ask the favor of as immediate an answer as you can give me. Accept assurances of my perfect esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); faint; at foot of text: “The honble James Jackson.”

James Jackson (1757–1806) represented Georgia in the U.S. Senate in the Seventh Congress. Earlier, he served a partial term in the Senate and had been a member of the House of Representatives in the First Congress, a state legislator, and governor of Georgia. Beginning in 1795 he was a fierce opponent of the political factions associated with the Yazoo land speculation (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ).

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