From Nathaniel Macon
Warrenton 7 Novr 1802
I have received yours of the 18 ult. and regret most sincerely that proper recommendations have not been made for the Commissioners of Bankruptcy. This is in a great measure owing to the death of our much esteemed friend Mr. Johnson, who promised to name to you proper persons for the appointments
Since receipt of yours, I have fortunately met with a friend from Newbern, in whom dependence may be placed, and have obtained from him the enclosed names as the most fit for the appointment in that place, the two first on the list are lawyers; Mr. Harriss was the Judge who held the last federal court under the old system; Mr. Webber is a merchant and Mr. Gerock has been one, is going into business again, The three first live in Newbern; the other some times in the town, but mostly at a seat he has within two or three miles of it
I am Sir with the utmost respect yr. most obt. sert.
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 12:0177–8); endorsed by TJ as received 13 Nov. and “Commrs. bkrptcy.” Enclosure: untitled list with four names appearing in the following order: Edward Harris (“Harriss”), William Blackledge, Thomas Webber, and Samuel Gerock (MS in same, 12:0176; undated; in an unidentified hand).
Congressman Charles JOHNSON died at his plantation near Edenton, North Carolina, in July 1802 (New York Spectator, 25 Aug.; Vol. 37:343n).
TWO FIRST ON THE LIST: that is, Harris and Blackledge. THE OTHER: Gerock, who became postmaster at New Bern in December 1803 (New-York Herald, 22 Feb. 1804; Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States 1782–1811, Lake Oswego, Ore., 1994 description ends , 199). All four on the list were appointed bankruptcy commissioners for the District of North Carolina, with commissions dated 24 Nov. (list of commissions in Lb in DNA: RG 59, MPTPC). On 14 Dec., Webber wrote the secretary of state that he could not accept the appointment because he expected “to be absent from the State a great part of the ensuing year” (RC in DNA: RG 59, RD; endorsed by TJ as a letter from Webber “of Newbern” to Madison and “declines commn bkrptcy”). See Timothy BLOODWORTH to TJ, 30 Nov. 1802, and David STONE and others to TJ, 19 Oct. 1803, for other recommendations for North Carolina.