Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Henry Dearborn, 8 June 1804

From Henry Dearborn

War Department June 8th. 1804


I have the honor to propose Doctor Abraham Edwards for your approbation as Surgeon’s Mate in the Army of the United States

Accept Sir the assurances of my high respect &cc—

FC (Lb in DNA: RG 107, LSP).

abraham edwards wrote to TJ from Baltimore on 7 May (not found, but recorded in SJL as received 14 May with notation “to be Surgeon’s mate”). That letter was forwarded to the War Department, and on 15 May, Dearborn wrote offering Edwards a post as surgeon’s mate at Fort Wayne, provided that Edwards procured certification of his fitness for the office “from Medical Gentlemen of known respectability” (DNA: RG 107, MLS). On 5 June, Edwards wrote to Dearborn acknowledging his willingness to serve at “Fort Wayne or any place where I shall be most wanted” (DNA: RG 107, LRMS). He enclosed three certifications, one of which was from Isaac Bishop, written on 11 May from Westmoreland, Virginia, and addressed to TJ, although TJ may never have seen the letter, which he neither endorsed nor recorded in SJL. Bishop wrote: “It is from the known goodness of your disposition; that I have ventured being a stranger to recommend to your notice, a young Gentleman of East New Jersey Dr. Abraham Edwards, who is solicitous to get the post of Surgeon Mate on board of one of the Frigats going up the Mediterranean—I believe him to be adequate to the task, is of good parentage, possesses an unblemished Character, is a firm republican and a warm friend to the present administration—Should your honour see fit to grant him the post sought, I will venture to say that he performs the duties of his station with alacrity and as for assiduity will not be excelled by many” (same; addressed: “Mr. Thomas Jefferson President of the united States At City Washington”). The two other enclosed recommendations, one from New Jersey senator John Condit and the other from a Dr. Pierson, possibly future New Jersey congressman Isaac Pierson, have not been found (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ).

TJ appointed Edwards surgeon’s mate, effective 8 June 1804 (TJ to the Senate, 13 Nov. 1804).

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