Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Andrew Gregg, 7 May 1803

From Andrew Gregg

Aaronsburg—7th. May 1803

Dear Sir

Mr. Edward Lynch of the City of Philadelphia wishes an Appointment in the Land Office in the Mississippi Territory, and has requested me to mention his Name to you for that Purpose. This I can do with Confidence because I beleive him very adequate to such an Appointment. He has for some Years past been engaged in Commerce, but the greatest Part of his Time since he was capable of Business was spent in the Office of the Surveyor General of this State. While Mr. Lukens held the Office of Surveyor General, the Business of that Department was almost entirely under the Direction of Mr. Lynch, and at the Death of the former he was within one or two Votes of being appointed his Successor, so well had he conducted himself in the Estimation of the supreme executive Council of the State, in whom the Power of making that Appointment was then vested. He is a practical Surveyor, as well as an Adept in the official Details of Land Business, and it is thro’ a strong Predilection for Business of that Kind in Preference to Commerce that he now offers himself a Candidate for an Appointment in the Mississippi Land Office. My long personal Acquaintance with Mr. Lynch induces me not only to express my Beleif of his Capacity, but also my earnest Wish that he may succeed in his Application.

With the most sincere Esteem I have the Honor to subscribe myself your Friend & huml. svt.

Andrew Gregg

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 May and “Lynch Edwd. to be empld. in land office Misipi” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Edward Lynch to TJ, 17 May.

Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Andrew Gregg (1755–1835) worked as a tutor in Philadelphia and storekeeper in Dauphin County before taking up farming in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Elected as a representative to the Second Congress, he served eight consecutive terms. A staunch Republican at the national level, he aligned with the faction in Pennsylvania that supported Governor Thomas McKean instead of more democratically inclined leaders such as William Duane and Michael Leib. Defeated for reelection in 1806, he subsequently became the United States Senate candidate preferred by McKean’s supporters. He served one term in the Senate from 1807 to 1813. Becoming a banker in Centre County, he later served as secretary of the Commonwealth but in 1823 lost a race for governor and retired to his farm (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Higginbotham, Pennsylvania Politics description begins Sanford W. Higginbotham, The Keystone in the Democratic Arch: Pennsylvania Politics 1800–1816, Harrisburg, 1952 description ends , 58, 131–3).

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