Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Craig to Thomas Jefferson, 19 November 1818

From William Craig

Rome November 19th 1818


I take the Liberty in writing to you on a perticular Subject tho my acquaintance with your Honor is but Small, that being at a time when there was so many present you have no Recollection of me; I was Entroduced to you in the City of washington by John Randolph when you were in the office of vice president of the United States and Sir Soon after that period I Came out to the western Country Caried the first Communication west that Effected the Change of Adminstration, and has Constantly Supported the1 measures adopted by the men in power with your Honor at the Head of Department; and Shall Ever beleive that the Change to A Republican Adminstration was the Salvation of the United States & A continuance of our Liberties. to you Sir the Honor of this Change is principally Due. and Sir I must for one Congratulate2 you as one of the first Character in being at this Day you being an undiviating Son of (Light Liberty & Equality) Sir I Dont pen these lines to flatter you by any means but I am Confident that it becomes my Duty as a Testimony of my Respect for you and your Service Done to your Country; Sir I have been Imployed in the western Country Since previous to your Election to the presidential Chair in Surveying now in the Study &3 practice of law; and has been Recommended to the president and Senate of the United States as one of the Judges of the Superiour Court by A number of Respectable Citizens of this Section the Now (Messouri) Teritory. which is Expected to be Erected into A seperate Teritory this Session of Congress now Sir I Know your Influence is as Great as any other man with the president and Senate. and if you would be Good Enough to write to Some of your friends on my behalf I Should be Confident of the Appointment and Sir if it is not Convenient for you; nor Should you not think proper. I am Still the Same man and Beleive you to be the Greatest man now in Being (and its not only my opinion but the General opinion of the western People,) and you Can fill the presidential Chair Again if you think it would be policy No more from your undiviating friend only my prayer that you will be Rewarded

as your Merrit Deserve

Wm Craig

RC (DLC); with idiosyncratic delimiters editorially altered to parentheses; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Formerly president of the United States”; franked; postmarked “Arkansa Mo T,” 25 Nov.; endorsed by TJ as received 2 Mar. 1819 and so recorded in SJL.

William Craig worked as a surveyor before he began operating a tavern at Arkansas Post and took up the practice of law. He was unsuccessful in his 1818 attempt to be named a judge for the soon-to-be-created Arkansas Territory and received only two votes in the 1819 election of its territorial delegate. Craig became a county magistrate in 1822 but later left Arkansas County (Josiah H. Shinn, Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas [1908]; DNA: RG 59, LAR [1817–25]; Arkansas Post Arkansas Gazette, 20 Nov. 1819; 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 , 19:19–21, 41–2, 802).

Arkansas became a seperate teritory from Missouri on 2 Mar. 1819 (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 , 19:44–50).

1Manuscript: “the the.”

2Manuscript: “Congratetulate.”

3Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Arkansas Territory; judgeship in search
  • Craig, William (of Arkansas); identified search
  • Craig, William (of Arkansas); introduced to TJ search
  • Craig, William (of Arkansas); letter from search
  • Craig, William (of Arkansas); seeks judgeship search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as vice president search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Randolph, John (of Roanoke); introduces W. Craig to TJ search