Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Wingate, with Jefferson’s Note, 7 February 1803

From William Wingate, with Jefferson’s Note

Haverhill Feb 7, 1803


I am drove unexpectedly Also through necessity for to Communicate to you the inclosed papers and Information, I wish you to begin and examine them in the following order, to Wit, paper marked No. 1. 2. & 3. These I offer as Evidence to Sattisfy You that I am Considered a true Friend to the Republican Cause—

No. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. all these except No. 5. respects Ephraim Emery who Col Varnum informs me has been Appointed by the President of the United States, Also, that the Appointment of Mr. Ephraim Emery has not Yet been Confirmed by the Senate—

Sir, You may rest assured that all the Charges I have alledged Against Emerys Moral and Political Charector are Sacredly true and well known by many of his intimate Acquaintance in this and other Towns—I Still hope for those reasons mentioned in my letter to Mr. Varnum that the President will not Suffer my name to be known as Complainent—Notwithstanding, I Shall Cheerfully Submit to Your Judgment.

Sir, I have requested Mr. Varnum to deliver to the President all the letters I have Sent him and not found here inclosed, if Mr. Varnum Should either neglect or refuse to deliver them, I will furnish you with attested Copies if requested, not doubting but that Mr. Varnum will readily deliver them, also readily Join with you in adjusting every thing they respect in the most Just and honorable manner—Therefore will thank the President to present Mr. Varnum with my best regards, also; receive the papers if wanted—

Sir, Believe me to be with Sentiments of the most Sincere Esteem & Respect

Your most devoted Humble Servant

William Wingate

Note, Sir, I wish you to inclose No. 2. 3. 7. & 9 in a wrapper and request your Private Secretary to direct them to me after the business is adjusted—

[Note by TJ:]

Nos 1. 2. 3. 7. 8. 9. came

  4. 5. 6. did not come

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “To the President of the United States of America”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Feb. and “against Ephraim Emery” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found, but see TJ to Wingate, 25 Feb. 1803; Wingate resent copies of enclosures 2 and 5 in his letter to TJ of 15 Feb. 1804.

William Wingate (1745–1821) was a younger brother of former New Hampshire congressman Paine Wingate. During the 1790s, he briefly served as postmaster at Haverhill, Massachusetts. Wingate wrote TJ several times during his first term as president, offering his views on foreign and diplomatic affairs and seeking an appointment. After a hiatus of more than a decade, Wingate recommenced his letters to TJ in 1815 and 1816, enclosing religious manuscripts and asking the former president’s assistance in disseminating their contents in Washington. TJ declined the requests (Madison, Papers, Pres. Ser., 5:544n; Stets, Postmasters description begins Robert J. Stets, Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States 1782-1811, Lake Oswego, Ore., 1994 description ends , 147; Vol. 35:754; Vol. 36:681; Wingate to TJ, 15 Feb. 1804, 31 Mch., 3, 14 Apr. 1815, 8 Apr. 1816; TJ to Wingate, 25 Apr. 1815, 4 May 1816).

For the nomination and rejection of ephraim emery, see TJ to the Senate, 11 Jan. 1803 (third letter).

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