Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Jackson, 1 May 1802

To James Jackson

Washington May 1. 1802.

Dear Sir

You will probably have seen in the Washington federalist of April 30. mr Mitchell appointed Atty of Georgia on your recommendation, denoted a man of most infamous character. this is merely calling of hard names which I never notice. but the editors pretend that they are possessed of a fact which is too bad for publication. whether the fact be of such a nature as to make it the duty of the Executive to have it investigated, they do not enable us to judge, and yet say enough to leave us under blame if no enquiry be made. will you be so good as to consider whether it is best to expect that mr Mitchell shall himself call for and properly notice the fact, so as to justify the nomination, or what else might be better done. Accept assurances of my high esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “General Jackson”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

For Jackson’s RECOMMENDATION of David Brydie Mitchell, see Vol. 34:592, 594n. The Washington Federalist of 30 Apr. included an “Extract of a Letter from a gentleman in Savannah, to his friend in this place,” in which the writer charged that the citizens of Savannah were outraged by the appointment of Mitchell in place of George Woodruff, “a most respectable citizen.” TOO BAD FOR PUBLICATION: the editors interrupted the extract, inserting, “Here follows an instance of his conduct so immoral and debauched, that it is impossible to describe it in words sufficiently chaste for the public eye.”

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