Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, with Jefferson’s Note, 20 October 1803

To Henry Dearborn, with Jefferson’s Note

Oct. 20. 03.

Will General Dearborne be so good as to recommend some person? or will it be better for him to retain the papers & consult the republican members from Maine?

[Note by TJ:]

Dudley Broadstreet Hobart of Gardener recommended by Genl. Dearborne, who candidly states that he is his son in law, but the applicn is from many respectable persons of the neighborhood, & the only competiton is a young man at college, son of a federalist.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); addressed: “The Secretary at War”; entirely in TJ’s hand, written in two sittings. Not recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found, but see John Langdon to TJ, 12 Oct. 1803.

Gallatin received a petition from Bath, maine, dated 6 Oct., recommending Joshua Shaw “as a person well qualified to discharge the duties” of the Bath collectorship. He had a knowledge of the mercantile business and had served as deputy collector for five years, frequently officiating in the collector’s absence. John Dunlap and Richard Tappan of Brunswick, along with 11 others, signed the petition (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Shaw Joshua to be Collectr. of Bath vice Webb resigned”).

On 21 Oct., Levi Lincoln received an application for the collectorship from John Winslow, a former student in his law office, dated 12 Oct. Winslow considered retiring from the practice of law for health reasons and noted that the duties of collector were “far from being severe” and the pay was “at least a competence.” He described four others who were seeking the office. Andrew Greenwood, a young, unmarried attorney, who came to Bath from South Carolina, could discharge the duties, but in politics he was “a firm advocate of the measures of the former administration.” Joshua Shaw, a respectable merchant, probably wanted the position for his son, who was attending Harvard. Shaw called himself a Federalist but “never engages with zeal in any political debates.” James Davidson, the third candidate, was a native of Scotland who led “a life of complete idleness.” He favored the British system of government. Samuel E. Duncan, the last named by Winslow, would doubtless receive strong recommendations from his father-in-law William Webb, the former collector, but he possessed no qualifications for the office and voted with the Federalists (RC in same; endorsed by Lincoln; endorsed by TJ: “Winslow John to mr Lincoln. to be collector of Bath, vice Webb resigned”; endorsed by Gallatin: “Bath To be attended to”).

An additional recommendation in favor of appointing Dudley B. hobart collector at Bath was received by Gallatin from Barzillai Gannett, who wrote the Treasury secretary on 21 Nov. 1803 and enclosed an undated memorial from Seth Gay and 11 others, who stated that no one possessed the “essential and peculiar qualifications for that office more fully than Mr. Hobart” (RC in same; endorsed by TJ: “Hobart Dudley Broadstreet. to be Collector of Bath vice   Webb. resigned”). TJ would send Hobart’s nomination for the Bath collectorship to the Senate on 9 Dec.

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