Thomas Jefferson Papers

Memorial from the Town Committee at York, Massachusetts, 17 January 1803

Memorial from the Town Committee at York, Massachusetts


The Undersigned a Committe appointed by the Unanimous voice of the Legal Voters assembled in the Town of York in the State of Massachusetts, at a Legal Town Meeting duly notifyed and called by the Selectmen, for the Special purpose of making known

the following facts. That Joseph Tucker Esq. a Collector in the District of York in said State, Was an Officer in the revolutionary War, and as such was highly esteemed, That He was a Member of the Legislature of this State when appointed to the Office of Collector which He now holds, That He has since held every Office in the Town of which He would accept That he is now an amiable Citizen and possesses every qualification, for the proper discharge of the duties of his Office. That no complaint intitled to Credit or belief has, or can now be made against him. That so far as punctual attention and a Strict regard to the Interest of the Goverment, as well as to accomodation of the People doing business at his Office entitle him to your approbation, so far We feel secure in his safety: but knowing as We do—that misrepresentations calculated to deceive are about being made, We cannot but fear their effect. We in behalf of said Town, do assure The President   that such misrepresentations are untrue, and that they originate with a Man who is endeavouring to remove the present Collector from his Office that he may thereby be appointed in his Stead. We would further beg leave to suggest that He has always been firmly attached to True Republican principles, which forms our excellent Republican Goverment and We are well assured that He came very near being dismised from his Office by our late President Mr. Addams, only on account of his political principles. for the above and many other reasons We solicit the continuance of the present Collector in his Office, and in duty bound will ever pray your Memorialist.

York January 17th. 1803. 

Joseph Bragdon } Committee
In behalf
of the Town
of York.
Theodore Webber
Moses Lyman
Elihu Bragdon

MS (DNA:RG 59, LAR); in Lyman’s hand, signed by all; at head of text: “To the President of the United States.”

Joseph Bragdon was chosen “Moderator” of the town meeting held in York on 17 Jan. to respond to efforts to remove joseph tucker as collector. misrepresentations calculated to deceive: the town had learned of Congressman Richard Cutts’s letter to Daniel Sewall, court clerk and postmaster at York, informing him that Tucker was to be removed and requesting that he “collect the minds of the Republicans in York” and recommend a replacement. According to the minutes of the town meeting, Sewall, “without consulting the Republicans of this Town, and for interesting motives,” recommended Jeremiah Clarke. The meeting noted that Sewall “had not a Republican spirit, in so doing” and in their opinion Clarke was “in no Respect capable” of filling the office. All 106 townspeople present voted in favor of continuing Tucker in the collector’s office, declaring that they were “fully satisfyed” with his honesty and integrity and that it would not be in the interest of the United States to remove him. They voted to have the selectmen transmit minutes of the meeting to Cutts and the treasurer of the U.S. and to forward the facts in favor of Tucker to the president (MS of Notes on 17 Jan. Town Meeting in same, in Lyman’s hand and certified by him on 18 Jan.; Boston Columbian Centinel, 3 June 1795, 13 Feb. 1799; Boston New-England Palladium, 21 June 1803; Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States 1782-1811, Lake Oswego, Ore., 1994 description ends , 133).

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