Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Nicholas N. Quackenbush, 8 June 1803

From Nicholas N. Quackenbush

Albany (State of New York)
June 8th. 1803


In the close of the last winter the Council of Appointment of this State was pleased to appoint me to an office which by the constitution of this State incapacitates me during my continuance therein from holding any other—Having accepted this appointment—I am therefore obliged to, and hereby do, resign the office of General Commissioner of Bankruptcy with which I have been Honored by you—

Immediately after my acceptance of the appointment under this State, I forwarded my resignation to you by a friend, but as he shortly afterwards died (as I have lately heard) I therefore expect that it has not been delivered—

I am with the most perfect respect Sir Your Obliged and most Obedient Humble Servant

Nichs. N. Quackenbush

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “The president of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 June and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “resigns as Commr. bkrptcy.”

Nicholas N. Quackenbush (1764–1823) was a Republican attorney in Albany, a Federalist stronghold. Following DeWitt Clinton’s recommendation, TJ appointed him bankruptcy commissioner in June 1802. He unsuccessfully ran for the state senate in 1805 as a Clintonian Republican (Joel Munsell, The Annals of Albany, 10 vols. [Albany, 1850–59], 8:87; Albany Register, 2, 9 Apr. 1805; Lansingburgh Farmers’ Register, 2 Apr. 1805; New York Morning Chronicle, 14 May 1805; New York Spectator, 4 Feb. 1823; Vol. 37:514–15).

In January 1803, the New York council of appointment named Quackenbush “first judge of the county of Albany.” On 17 June, DeWitt Clinton wrote Madison recommending Abraham Ten Eyck as “a very proper successor” to Quackenbush. TJ immediately made the appointment (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR, endorsed by TJ: “Tenwyck Abraham. to be Commr bkrptcy Albany”; list of commissions in Lb in DNA: RG 59, MPTPC; Albany Gazette, 20 Jan. 1803). In the same letter, Clinton supported Frederick Jenkins as commercial agent at Le Havre (see Rensselaer Havens to TJ, 25 June 1803).

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