Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Warner, 14 March 1803

From John Warner

Wilmington March 14th 1803


I take the liberty to enclose for your perusal a number of the “Federal Ark,” a paper lately removed from Dover to this place. It is generally believed that no paragraph of a low political nature, more particularly, is ever inserted in it without the approbation of the Collector of this port; this number may serve as a specimen of the manner in which this paper is conducted;—perhaps none on the continent, as far as the abilities of all its editors combined could contrive, has been more filled with misrepresentations and falsehood.

I am very respectfully Your Friend

John Warner

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 21 Mch. and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “Mc.lane.” Enclosure: see below.

enclose for your perusal: the issue of The Federal Ark has not been identified. During his 1802 election campaign, Caesar A. Rodney informed TJ of the new Federalist publication at Dover. The first issue of the biweekly newspaper was published in Wilmington on 28 Feb. 1803 (Vol. 38:456).

collector of this port: Allen McLane. On 8 Feb., Warner and Wilmington merchant James Brobson wrote TJ recommending Nehemiah Tilton in place of McLane. The 28 Feb., 7 and 12 Mch. issues of The Federal Ark presented articles and documents supporting McLane against the “Office-Hunters” and attacking Tilton.

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