Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith (of Pennsylvania), 9 July 1809

To Samuel Smith (of Pennsylvania)

Monticello July 9. 09.


I recieved, a few days since your favor of June 28. covering a letter from Morrow & Andrew Lowry requesting information whether the pardon to them was not a remission of the costs of prosecution also. as it is official, & not personal opinion which can alone answer their purposes, I now, to save time, transmit their & your letter to the Secretary of state, whose opinion, or that of the Attorney General will doubtless be transmitted to you on the subject. accept the assurances of my respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “The honble Samuel Smith of Erie”; endorsed by TJ.

Samuel Smith, of Mill Creek, Erie County, Pennsylvania, served as associate judge of that county, 1803–05, and sat in the United States House of Representatives, 1805–11. In 1812 he was appointed receiver of public moneys for the district east of the Pearl River in Mississippi Territory. Smith was removed from this post and ruined financially in 1817 when he could not account for all of the public funds (History of Erie County, Pennsylvania [1884], 1:342, 415; Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, 1989 description ends ; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 6:287, 782, 784; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:281, 284 [1, 2 July 1812]; Philip S. Klein, ed., “Memoirs of a Senator from Pennsylvania: Jonathan Roberts, 1771–1854,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 62 [1938]: 241–2).

Smith’s favor of june 28, not found, is recorded in SJL as received from Washington on 2 July 1809. morrow & andrew lowry and their brother John Lowry, of Erie County, were charged with obstructing a deputy marshal executing a writ and threatening violent resistance to their eviction. In April 1808 they were convicted in the United States circuit court for the Pennsylvania district, sentenced to three months in prison, and ordered to pay fines and court costs. On 16 Sept. 1808, after the Lowrys served their sentences, TJ accepted their plea of poverty and issued a pardon remitting the fines and court costs of all three men (The Federal Cases: Comprising Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States [1894–97], 26:1008–10; DNA: RG 59, PPR, 1:157; Thomas Lloyd to TJ, 16 Aug. 1808, and Albert Gallatin to TJ, 17 Aug. 1808 [DLC]).

Index Entries

  • Lowry, Andrew search
  • Lowry, Morrow search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; as attorney general search
  • Smith, Robert; secretary of state search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Pennsylvania); and pardon of Lowrys search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Pennsylvania); identified search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Pennsylvania); letters from accounted for search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Pennsylvania); letters to search