Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jesse Franklin, 16 December 1802

From Jesse Franklin

Dec. 16th 1802

J. Franklin returns compliments to Mr. Jefferson, and acknowledges the receit of his note of the 14th Instant.

J. Franklin has no personal acquantanc with Mr. West. But from the best information he is able to obtain, he is a man of good Charactor and demeanor in his office and a republican and no Doubt well qualified to Discharge the Duties of Marshall.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ: “West John Spence to be contind Marshal N.C.” and “mr Franklin’s note.”

Born in Orange County, Virginia, Jesse Franklin (1760–1823), third son of Bernard and Mary Cleveland Franklin, moved with his family to Surry County, North Carolina, at the beginning of the American Revolution and joined a regiment under the command of Benjamin Cleveland, his uncle. By the end of the war, he was a major in the North Carolina militia. In 1784, he began serving as a state legislator. Franklin served one term, from 1795 to 1797, as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1798, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he represented North Carolina from 1799 to 1805 and from 1807 to 1813. President Madison, in 1816, appointed Franklin a commissioner, along with Andrew Jackson and David Meriwether, to treat with the Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians. The treaty was signed later that year. In 1820, Franklin was elected governor of North Carolina, a position he held for one year. He refused to stand for reelection (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928-36, 20 vols. description ends ; William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 vols. [Chapel Hill, 1979–96], 2:235–6; Manning J. Dauer, The Adams Federalists [Baltimore, 1953], 290–1, 294–5).

TJ’s note to Franklin of 14 Dec. is not recorded in SJL and has not been found.

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