Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from David Jackson, Jr., 19 July 1802

From David Jackson, Jr.

Philada. July 19th. 1802

Honored Sir

By the decease of the late worthy Mr Vancleve, a vacancy takes place in the board of Commissioners of Bankruptcy, an appointment to which vacancy if not already made would confer a perpetual obligation upon me—

I have communicated this my application to no person, highly disapproving the practice of many in procuring names recommendatory of their appointment—

I am personally known to a large proportion of our leading republican friends, also well known to the present commissioners of Bankruptcy, particularly Mr. Sergeant, who was a fellow collegian of mine. I am settled with a wife & family around me, in the pursuit of a mercantile occupation for a livelihood, and were I to suggest my intentions to my friends Governor McKean, or Mr Charles Thomson, who is an uncle of mine by marriage, I have no doubt, but that I could have procured every recommendation I could wish; but respected Sir, I wish my Integrity & Character to be my sole recommendation

ever your friend

David Jackson

Son of the late Dr David Jackson.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 25 July and “to be Commr. bkrptcy Phila” and so recorded in SJL.

David Jackson, Jr. (d. 1808) was the eldest son of Dr. David Jackson, with whom TJ had regularly conducted financial transactions and sometimes purchased medicines. His mother was probably Jane Mather Jackson, of Chester, Pennsylvania, whom his father married in 1770, the widow of his brother Dr. Paul Jackson. After her death, David Jackson married Susanna Kemper, with whom he had nine children. David Jackson, Jr., graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1794 and received a graduate degree nine years later. In 1800, he married Rebecca Clarkson and entered the family apothecary business as a wholesale and retail druggist with his own store. After the death of his father in 1801, his stepmother formed a partnership with Dr. Samuel Betton to carry on the business. The Betton & Jackson partnership dissolved in 1803, when David Jackson announced to his friends and customers and to those “of his late father” that business would be conducted at Arch and Fourth streets, the site of his father’s establishment, “in conjunction with his father’s widow,” under the firm of David and S. Jackson. Governor McKean appointed Jackson to Philadelphia’s Board of Health in 1804. In 1807, he was elected a director of the Philadelphia Bank (John Hill Martin, Chester (and Its Vicinity,) Delaware County, in Pennsylvania; with Genealogical Sketches of Some Old Families [Philadelphia, 1877], 129–30; W. J. Maxwell, comp., General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania: 1917 [Philadelphia, 1917], 24; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends , 9:538–9; Pa. Arch. description begins Samuel Hazard and others, eds., Pennsylvania Archives. Selected and Arranged from Original Documents in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Harrisburg, 1852–1935, 119 vols. description ends , 2d ser., 9:575; Philadelphia Gazette, 16 Apr. 1800; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 25 Sep., 30 Oct. 1801; 15 July 1803; 11 July, 18 Nov. 1808; Philadelphia Aurora, 20 Apr. 1804; United States’ Gazette, 26 Apr. 1806; 10 Feb. 1807; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:935, 986, 1016; Vol. 32:405n, 415–16; Vol. 34:375n, 581, 582n; Vol. 36:216n, 482, 693).

FELLOW COLLEGIAN OF MINE: John Sergeant studied at the University of Pennsylvania before attending the College of New Jersey at Princeton, from which he graduated in 1795 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ). UNCLE OF MINE BY MARRIAGE: Charles Thomson’s first wife Ruth Mather was the sister of Jane Mather Jackson (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Martin, Chester, 129–30).

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