Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Gideon Granger, 6 May 1803

From Gideon Granger

New York May 6th. 1803.

Dr Sir.

I arrived here yesterday noon having taken time to ascertain the State of Things in the Several States. you are so near Maryland that any remarks are unnecessary. In Delaware the unhappy divisions among our friends will give additional Strength to Our Enemies and we may set down that Tory State lost. The fretful turbulent Disposition which has manifested itself in Pha. originated in some degree from a Sufficient cause which I will explain when I return a reunion will take place and in the Issue it will be useful. I had a long conversation with Tench Cox and can truly say I admire him both for Talents, conduct and Manners—Their Resolves will be so tempered as to remove most of the unpleasant feelings which have been experienced. The State of New Jersey is interesting. In joint meeting the whole number is 52—of these the Republicans have 24 certain and the Tories 19. A Sharp contest exists respecting the remaining 9. From a display of a variety of facts I have been convinced we shall Succeed in Huntingdon County which gives us 29. Our paper in that County has increased 600 in 6 mths. by fair Subscription and all our friends are confident of 300 majority—The Clerk of the various republican meetings says there will be a majority of at least 500. The Other remaining County is Gloucester in that there is certainly a majority of Republicans—but unfortunately a misunderstanding subsists between two Influential Characters, which if not removed will, as it has done, give the Tories a majority—both of these Counties have lately elected a republican Court of Free holders—The first has 11—agt. 9—the last 14–6—I believe we may calculate on that State. Our Triumph in this State is the greatest we have ever had. There are 30 Counties. from the best Information now to be procured. we have carried 25 Counties & 2 agt. 1 in the 26th. The Conduct of this One is [doubtful?]. In two Counties (Albany & Oneida) [they] have carried 9 members & in the latter we have one. Two Counties are very doubtful (Chenango & Ontario) my own opinion is from a knowledge of the settlements. They will be divided—we are certain in this state of 83 agt. 17. and it will probably be 86 agt. 14. In the Senatorial elections we have carried every Member but One and it is believed that One also, but that is uncertain—The probable state of the Senate will be 26 agt. 6—we are certain of 25. agt. 7.—

In Rhode Island we have carried an increased majority of 2 in the House. And every Other Officer—Gov: Lt. Gov. 10 Counsellors. Treasurer. [. . .] &c. without opposition.

With great Esteem Your friend

Gidn Granger

RC (DLC); torn; addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 May and so recorded in SJL.

divisions among our friends: Democratic-Republicans in Wilmington and New Castle were divided over the erection of a bridge in Wilmington. Articles on both sides of the issue appeared in the Wilmington Mirror of the Times. In a letter dated 23 Apr., “A Kent County Democrat” noted that they had a sheriff to elect and it was important for the Democrats to elect him. He warned: “If you divide, it will only be as it has been heretofore; your Sheriff lost by your own divisions. Such bickerings between brother democrats, are unpleasant and such in my opinion deserve pointed censure” (Mirror of the Times, & General Advertiser, 6 Apr., 4, 7 May 1803; James Brobson and John Warner to TJ, 8 Feb.). For other divisions, see Thomas Mendenhall to TJ, 12 Feb. and Caesar A. Rodney to TJ, 7 July.

their resolves: for the resolutions passed by the ward meetings in Philadelphia, see Gallatin to TJ, 21 Mch.

The 1802 elections in new jersey resulted in 26 Federalists and 26 Republicans convening at the joint meeting of the legislature, causing a deadlock in the selection of a governor and U.S. Senator (see Granger to TJ, 30 Oct. 1802). huntingdon: that is, Hunterdon County. our paper: the Trenton True American, edited by James J. Wilson, who also served as clerk at the December 1802 meeting of Trenton Republicans and has been characterized as “the county’s leading political professional.” In January 1803, Wilson wrote a friend that the subscription list for the True American had “been for several months continually and rapidly increasing.” In the fall election, Republicans gained three seats in Hunterdon and four in Gloucester giving the party complete control in the two counties and a majority of 14 in the joint meeting of the legislature (True American, 3 Jan. 1803; Newark Centinel of Freedom, 8 Nov. 1803; Pasley, Tyranny of Printers description begins Jeffrey L. Pasley, “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, Charlottesville, 2001 description ends , 323–5; Carl E. Prince, New Jersey’s Jeffersonian Republicans: The Genesis of an Early Party Machine, 1789–1817 [Chapel Hill, 1967], 88–91; Walter R. Fee, The Transition from Aristocracy to Democracy in New Jersey, 1789–1829 [Somerville, N.J., 1933], 124, 136–7).

triumph in this state: for the New York election results, see also DeWitt Clinton to TJ, 4 May. By the final returns, the Federalists swept oneida County sending four delegates to the assembly to join the Federalists elected in Albany County. chenango County divided its votes and elected two Republicans and two Federalists. Onondaga County did the same, electing one candidate from each party. The counties of Genesee and ontario, voting as one unit, chose three Federalists. New York Republicans prevailed in all of the 1803 senate races, giving them a majority of 20 in the senate in 1804 (Albany Register, 1 July 1803; Journal of the Assembly, of the State of New-York, at Their Twenty-Seventh Session, Begun and Held at the City of Albany, the Thirty-First Day of January, 1804 [Albany, 1804], 3–4).

On 21 May, the Republican newspaper in rhode island reported that in the general assembly all 10 senators and 50 out of the 70 representatives were Republican. counsellors: Granger probably refers to the state senators, who in Rhode Island were known as “Assistants” until 1799. The Republican officers elected included the attorney general (Newport Rhode-Island Republican, 23 Apr., 21 May; Michael J. Dubin, Party Affiliations in the State Legislatures: A Year by Year Summary, 1796–2006 [Jefferson, N.C., 2007], 162–4).

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