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JQA Diary, volume 31 26 February 1819
JQA Neal Millikan Adams-Onis Treaty Commerce Elections, Presidential (1820) Seminole Wars Supreme Court

26. VII: A day, such as grow up and spread over my present station in life, with weed-like fertility. A day of visitors and applicants— First came to my house a man by the name of Sherburne; who was for sometime Consul, or Consular agent, and now highly self-recommended as a Commissioner of the claims under the Treaty with Spain. He also recommends his Son, to be the Secretary of that Commission— He told me that Mr Crawford, who was well acquainted with his character and with his conduct in France, would also recommend him— He kept me above an hour, explaining to me how exceedingly convenient it would be to him, to his affairs and to his family to have the Office, and telling me all his family concerns, removals and projects— I asked him if he understood the Spanish language, and observed it would be a qualification very useful to a Commissioner under this Treaty— He said no, he was not acquainted with the Spanish; but he thought he could easily learn enough of it in a short time, to answer every necessary purpose— This Gentleman was followed by Mr Roberts the Senator from Pennsylvania, who came and introduced to me, Mr John Binns, Editor of the Democratic Press; an evening Newspaper published at Philadelphia, & a personage of high political consequence in that State. Binns is publishing a splendid Edition of the Declaration of Independence, engraved upon copper-plate, surrounded by the arms of the thirteen original States, and surmounted with Portraits of Hancock, Washington and Jefferson— He has now come here with his engraver to take fac simile’s of the signatures; and asked permission to take them in one of the Offices at the Department; to which I consented. He was afterwards at the Department, and brought one of the impressions of his Plate; which I saw— At the Office, came successively Mr M’Rae, who was last Spring appointed Consul at Amsterdam, but has not yet concluded whether he will accept the appointment or not. He is a particular personal friend of the Presidents and a man of talents and information. He gave me some account of the political intrigues which have been working at Richmond upon the affairs of the Seminole War, and General Jacksons transactions. Some of the men of the highest standing and greatest abilities in Virginia, are personal rivals and adversaries of Mr Monroe— His popularity however throughout the State, supported by the weight and influence of Mr Jefferson, and Mr Madison , is so great that they do not venture to assail him directly and in front— They are therefore constantly on the watch for any occasion upon which they can attack his administration, and Jackson and the Seminole War have furnished the best of which they have yet been able to avail themselves. They are hitherto unsuccessful. But the 49misfortune of Mr Monroe is, that the Virginians have discovered it will be necessary to render his administration unpopular for the purpose of securing the next Presidency to a Virginian— Mr Buck the Consul general from Hamburg came to take leave, upon his return to Philadelphia, and to express his gratification, at the Act which has past extending the revocation of discriminating duties to the Ships and Shipments of Hamburg. Mr Appleton came to solicit again the nomination as Secretary of Legation to Rio de Janeiro— Dr Everitt has concluded it seems, not to accept; and the President and Mr Graham are both willing that Appleton should be appointed— This Evening, I attended with Mrs Adams and Mary Buchanan, a Ball, given by subscription of Members of Congress together with some of the principal Inhabitants of Washington and Georgetown, to Mr and Mrs Bagot, upon their intended return to England. This is a compliment which has never before been paid to any foreign Minister, and which is not universally approved; as a bad precedent— We attended by invitation. The Ball was at Crawford’s Hotel in Georgetown and numerously attended. The managers assigned to me Mrs Wirt, the Attorney General’s wife, to lead down to supper— There was a single toast given after supper; Mr and Mrs Bagot; upon which he rose and returned thanks in a short, modest and suitable speech—upon which the band of music struck up, God save the king—immediately followed by Yankee-doodle. An association about as incongruous, as any that I ever witnessed. We came home immediately after supper, but it was near one of the Morning. Mr Middleton spoke to me of Judge William Johnson of the Supreme Court; who has obtained through Crawford’s influence the appointment of Collector of the customs at the Port of Charleston, and after getting the place will neither accept nor decline it; but is negotiating to keep his Office as judge upon condition that his brother, a very good Carpenter at Charleston shall be appointed Collector in his stead— Middleton says that Johnson is one of Crawford’s electioneering machines. That previous to the Legislative caucus of 1816. Johnson who was then here, sitting as a judge of the Supreme Court, took great, constant and indecent pains in support of Crawford against Mr Monroe. That he solicited and urged Lowndes, Calhoun and him Middleton in behalf of Crawford; although they were all in favour of Mr Monroe. He says that Johnson’s brother is utterly unfit for the Office of Collector, and is not a little incensed at this intrigue to obtain the appointment for him.