Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Dean, 3 January 1803

From William Dean

Philada. 3rd. January 1803

Honor’d Sir

By a letter addressed to you by Isaac Williams Junr. War chief of the Wyandot Nation, you will observe that I am to pay attention to his buisiness at the seat of Government, the document relating to which, will be laid before you herewith by the Secretary at War: in two weeks I will be at the city of Washington, when I will do myself the hono’r of waiting on you, and be Govern’d by your advice in pursuing the interest of Mr. Williams whose situation at present requires all that can be done for him—

I have the hono’r to subscribe myself your very obedt. Servt.

Wm. Dean

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Dean; at head of text: “To His Excellency Thomas Jefferson President of the UStates”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Jan. and so recorded in SJL.

The writer may have been William Dean (1741–1807) of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, who as early as 1758 had connections to the trans-Appalachian region (PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877- description ends , 38 [1914], 458; 45 [1921], 287; United States Gazette, 12 Oct. 1807).

The letter from Isaac Williams, Jr., has not been found, is not recorded in SJL, and does not appear in the correspondence registers of the War Department in DNA: RG 107, RLRMS.

Dean was probably in washington on 9 Feb. Writing to him on that date in answer to an inquiry from earlier in the day, Dearborn stated that any purchase of land by citizens of the United States from Indian nations or individual Indians must be overseen by agents appointed by the president. Concerning the possibility that lands claimed by Williams fell within “the tract commonly called the Connecticut reserve,” Dearborn wrote that the answer “can only be known with certainty by the lines being run under the direction of an Agent appointed for this purpose, by the President of the United States” (DNA: RG 75, LSIA).

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