Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Gideon Granger, 25 May 1803

From Gideon Granger

Suffield May 25. 1803.

Dr. Sir

I take the liberty to inclose a petition addressed to my care and also a Letter I have recd. from Saml Ward Esq. I have no acquaint[ance] with mr. Ward and therefore can say nothing on that Subject. The Petition is Subscribed by some very respectable People. This day the Legislature of Massachusetts assemble from what I have heard. I believe When the House is formed The Tories will have but little to boast Of.

Your Affectionate [friend]

Gidn. Granger

RC (DLC); torn; endorsed by TJ as received 30 May and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Samuel Ward to Granger, Salem, 16 May 1803, renewing his application for office since his letters from an earlier solicitation apparently miscarried, including one to Granger of 11 Nov. 1802, of which he encloses a copy; observing that Joseph Story has declined to serve as naval officer at Salem, he now applies for that position; he has already requested that James Sullivan use his influence with the president, but he has heard nothing; he is anxious “having a large & promising Family and but small means for their support, nor any thing to hope for from the unrelenting Federalists”; he assures Granger that his appointment will be agreeable to “all the Republicans of the Town,” including William R. Lee, collector at the port, whom he has known for 40 years (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Ward Saml. to mr Granger to be naval officer of Salem”).

TJ viewed another application by Samuel ward, who had written James Sullivan on 7 Apr., requesting that he use his influence with the president “regarding the appointment.” Ward annexed a petition signed by Joseph Sprague and 13 other inhabitants of Salem. On 11 Apr., Sullivan enclosed the letter to Madison with his own recommendation. He had served with Ward in the Massachusetts legislature for several years during the “late revolutionary war.” He continued: “I have known him as a magistrate and military officer when much depended on his exertions, and when many who would now gladly take offices were skulking from public danger.” Sullivan requested that Madison communicate the contents to the president and do whatever he could to serve Ward’s interest. He also noted that those who signed Ward’s letter were “respectable and friendly to the present administration” (RCs in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Ward Saml. to be Naval officer of Salem vice Story”). For an earlier petition for office, see Ward to TJ, 10 Nov. 1802.

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