Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Alexander Wolcott, 18 August 1803

From Alexander Wolcott

Middletown 18. Augt. 1803


The Office of Collector of the district of New Having1 being, by the death of Mr Bishop, now vacant, I take the liberty of expressing my opinion that the appointment of his son Abraham Bishop to the office, would be as gratifying, I believe more so, to the people of this state, than the appointment of any other man.

I am with perfect respect Sir your Obedt. Servt.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); in Alexander Wolcott’s hand; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from “Anon.” on 24 Aug. and “Bishop Abram to be Collector N. Haven” and so recorded in SJL with a brace connecting it with two other letters received by TJ on this date (see below).

This unsigned letter is in the hand of Alexander Wolcott, a prominent Connecticut Republican whom TJ appointed customs collector at Middletown in July 1801. TJ received this recommendation on 24 Aug., the same day he received two others from New Haven. Gideon Granger wrote on 16 Aug. and Jesse Atwater wrote two days later. Both are now missing. In SJL, TJ connects these two letters along with “Anon. Middletown” by a brace with the notation “Abram Bishop. to be Collector N.H. vice Saml. Bishop.” It is not clear why Wolcott did not sign his letter. Earlier in the year he had written a longer one to the president, with an enclosure seeking the removal of the surveyor at Saybrook and the appointment of his brother, George Wolcott, in his place. In 1805, Wolcott wrote TJ a letter similar to the one above recommending Atwater for a judgeship in Michigan Territory. He signed that letter (Vol. 39:581; Vol. 40:85-7; Wolcott to TJ, 21 Nov. 1805).

1Thus in MS.

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