Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Stanley Griswold, 2 November 1807

Detroit 2. November 1807.


In the recess of Congress, you thought proper to appoint James Abbott, Esqr., to the office of Receiver of public monies for the Land Office at Detroit. He of course acts, agreeably to a law of Congress passed the last Session, as one of the Commissioners to adjust the title to lands in this district,—an employment of great consequence to the interests of the people of this Territory, as well as of some importance to the United States.

With pleasure we assure you, that Mr. Abbott is a gentleman of unexceptionable character, and enjoys the unlimitted confidence of the inhabitants of this country, of which he is a native. His appointment gave great satisfaction to the people, and his conduct hitherto in the execution of its duties has met with universal approbation. The intimate acquaintance he possesses with his native Territory, and his knowledge of the inhabitants and of their language, joined to every virtuous qualification, moral and political, render him highly and very peculiarly fit for the employment in question. He has gone through with us in examining a considerable number of land-claims, and his aid is found extremely useful, and indeed indispensible.   We venture to say, few persons could be found so well qualified to fill that office, and are confident that no one could discharge its duties more faithfully or acceptably. Indeed a change would hazard an increase of the dissatisfactions which on certain accounts have arisen and still exist to a great extent in this Territory.

The family of this gentleman were ever distinguished here for their friendship to the American cause and government,—[. . .] meritorious services were rendered by them, particularly to unhappy captives brought by Indians to this place. For these laudable dispositions and actions they suffered much,—and this gentleman is not without personal claims to consideration on this account.

We take upon ourselves to assure you, Sir, that you will do an act of justice to a worthy individual, as well as a very acceptable service to the inhabitants of this Territory, by continuing the nomination of this gentleman to the office in question.

We have the honor to be with great respect, Sir, Your very humble, and most obedient Servants,

Stanley Griswold,

Secretary of Michigan Territory
Peter Audrain

Register of the Land Office Detroit

Commissioners of the Land Board Detroit

DNA: RG 59—LAR—Letters of Application and Recommendation.

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