Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas McKean, 12 June 1802

From Thomas McKean

Philadelphia, June 12th. 1802.

Dear Sir,

Calling to recollection, that when in the city of Washington I named my son Robert as a suitable person for a Commissioner of Bankrupts in Pennsylvania, it appears to me proper to inform you that he died on Tuesday last, the 8th. instant: His brother-in-law, Andrew Pettit Esquire would, in my opinion, be well qualified to fill that office; he is a reputable Merchant and Alderman of this city, but tired with performing the duties of his office, and has refused the appointments of a Judge of the common pleas for the county of Philadelphia and Mayor of the city. Mr; Pettit is the only son of Charles Pettit Esquire, some years a member of Congress for this State and now President of the Insurance company of North America; he has a sister married to Mr; Ingersol, late Attorney General, who (I presume) is known to you. I have reason to believe, that the appointment of Mr; Pettit to this office would be not only unexceptionable, but agreeable to all parties, excepting the inveterate Tories, whom an Angel could not please.

Accept the best wishes for your health & happiness of, dear Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient humble servant

Thos M:Kean

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “His Excelly. Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 June and so recorded in SJL.

HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW: Robert McKean’s sister Elizabeth married Andrew Pettit in December 1791. A decade earlier, on 6 Dec. 1781, Andrew Pettit’s sister Elizabeth married Jared Ingersoll (INGERSOL), Pennsylvania’s attorney general from 1790 to 1799 and from 1811 to 1817. KNOWN TO YOU: Ingersoll served as a defense attorney in the 1799 impeachment trial of William Blount, over which TJ presided and took notes. As U.S. attorney from 1800 to 1801, Ingersoll also led prosecutions against William Duane (Rowe, McKean description begins G. S. Rowe, Thomas McKean, The Shaping of an American Republicanism, Boulder, Colo., 1978 description ends , 266, 321–2; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends , 9:468–9; Vol. 30:614–16, 619n; Vol. 34:297, 300n).

Index Entries