Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Jones, 12 December 1802

From William Jones

Philada. 12th. Decemr 1802
Wm. Jones

Dear Sir

Mr Guy Bryan Merchant of this City has made me acquainted with his intention of soliciting for his nephew Mr Morrison the appointment of Collector at Massac in the Indiana Territory. My particular respect for and knowledge of the character and circumstances of Mr. Bryan excite a wish that he may succeed if the office shall be vacant. Knowing as I do the scrupulous delicacy and integrity of Mr Bryan you may be assured he would not interest himself for a person who was not qualified by his capacity and principles and the guaranty of Mr Bryan will afford ample security for the fidelity of the officer

In the traits of Mr Bryan’s character there is also to be found that of as uniform and decided a Republican as any in this City.

I expected ere this to have paid my personal respects, and to have had the pleasure of sincerely congratulating you on the enviable situation of our happy country, and the unequivocal approbation of its Administration, evinced in the late Elections.

I trust however the pleasure I anticipated will not be delayed longer than the latter part of this month when I expect to attend my duty in Congress. In the interem I remain

Dear Sir With the highest regard and respect yours—

Wm Jones

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Dec. and “Morrison to be Collector at Massac” and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “qu. 1. is the place vacant? 2. is Morrison a republican? 3. is he a resident within the territory?”

guy bryan and his nephew, William morrison, were partners in a leading western mercantile operation, maintaining stores at Kaskaskia and Cahokia and trading in produce, lead, and peltry. In addition to their mercantile endeavors, in 1802 Bryan and Morrison received a contract to carry the U.S. mail from Vincennes to Kaskaskia and Cahokia. Morrison did not receive the Massac appointment, which had already gone to Daniel Bissell (Bryan to Albert Gallatin, 14 Dec. 1802, in NHi: Gallatin Papers; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934-75, 28 vols. description ends , 7:80; John Leslie Tevebaugh, “Merchant on the Western Frontier: William Morrison of Kaskaskia, 1790–1837” [Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1962]; Gallatin to TJ, 10 Dec. 1802).

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