Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Sumter, Sr., 30 May 1802

From Thomas Sumter, Sr.

Stateboro 30th May. 1802

Dear Sir—

I have recieved your favr dated Monticello the 9th & Post marked Milton the 14th Inst.—and have duely considered the Same—the result of my opinion is—, that Messrs. John Blake Simeon Theus Theodore Gaillard & Dominick Hall Esqrs. are well quallified, both as Merchts. & Lawyers to discharge the duties under the appointment Contemplated. the two Gentlemen first nomd Possess extensive Knowledge in Commerl business, & also in Public Transactions, are of Very respectable Standing—Mr. Gaillard is Considered an emminent Lawyer & is Now Speaker of the House of Representatives— Mr. Hall has been heretofore made Known to you—I take the Liberty to Suggest Should any of these Gentlemen decline to act, & it were deemed not improper to Suffer an Individual to exercise discretion in making New appointments, I am Persuaded Mr. Blake would execute Such Trust with Great fidelity & fully to Satisfaction—

Permit me, Sir, to Congratulate you, on the reestablishment of Peace in Europe. Humanity dictates a wish that it may prove of Long duration, but experience Will induce us to fear, a difrent State of things Will Soon intervene—

I have Just recd Letters dated 5th. march— from my Son. the Minister & family were in health—he Speaks in Very respectful Terms of him1

I rather Suspect my Son will not remain Long in that Country not mearley on account of his being disposed to marry—but rather on other considerations—

The Crops through the extensive range of Country Which I Passed—are remarkably Promising—& now in this State—they are much better than any ever Seen in it—

Should any thing here after Occur, in which my attention & exertions can be rendered usefull—Shall be happy to recive your Commands—

I am Dear Sir With the highest respect, your obedt Servt

Thos. Sumter


The V. Pt. has not yet returned from his more distant Southern Tour—it is not easy to decide, Which discovers the Most Zeal, our Co[…]il assemblies, or those Convoked for religious exercises—it would Seem So much bustle, is intended to produce Somthing extraoridnary—the Perticulars aluded to, No Doubt Will be Seen fully detailed in Print T S

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); torn; endorsed by TJ as received 17 June and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “John Blake Simeon Theus Theodore Gaillard Dominic A. Hall } Commrs. bkrpcy Charleston”; with note by TJ, probably written at a later sitting: “Wm Moultrie Benj. Cudworth Francis Dickinson Thos. Somersall Simon Mc.Intosh John Webb.”

On 22 June, commissions were prepared appointing John BLAKE, Simeon THEUS, Theodore GAILLARD, Dominick A. HALL, William Moultrie, and Benjamin Cudworth commissioners of bankruptcy for South Carolina. Blake, Theus, and Hall each declined the appointment, while Moultrie resigned his commission in April 1803 (Appendix II, List 2; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 32 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 8 vols. Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols. Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 3:392–3, 4:480).

For the deteriorating relationship between Sumter’s SON, Thomas Sumter, Jr., and the American MINISTER to France, Robert R. Livingston, see Livingston to TJ, 4 May.

On or about 20 Apr., Aaron Burr left Washington for a brief SOUTHERN TOUR, during which he was honored with public receptions at Raleigh, Charleston, and Savannah. Republican and Federalist critics of Burr alike speculated on ulterior motives for his visit to the southern states, although its main purpose was ostensibly to see his daughter, Theodosia, who was expecting the birth of her first child. He left Charleston on 17 June and arrived at New York City six days later, accompanied by his daughter and her newborn son, Aaron Burr Alston (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 2:717–18, 719–20; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 26:21–2).

1Word written over “the Minister.”

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