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Dixon Nathan F., (1774-1842)
Autograph Letter Signed, as United States Senator, Washington, June 23, 1841, to William Rhodes, Esq., Providence

Quarto, three pages, plus stamp less address leaf, in very good, clean, and legible condition.

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Dixon writes to a constituent concerning the disposition of various political posts, patronage, and appointments, before turning to discussion of affairs in Congress:


      “… I had the pleasure of receiving several communications from you since my return to Congress, - and have not been inattentive to your suggestions, but from the doubts that have over cast most of the subjects alluded to, I have not been able to reply in expressions sufficiently positive to be acceptable to a man of your decision. I may venter [sic] to speak now with more confident assurance – your friend Newton will be appointed to the office of Collector at New-Port. – Tillinghast will be appointed surveyor at E. Greenwich, and the office at your village will remain vacant for a few days, so that you may settled the point of succession. In relationship to the surveyorship at Wickford, the conflicting claims of candidates, the ample testimonials produced by each, together with the divided public opinion in no small degree perplexed those of us here who are anxious for a judicious result.  And somewhat excited interest which the candidates have brought to bear upon the subject, have in no small degree perplexed those of us here who are anxious for a judicious result. Mr. Brown is on the spot urging his claims, Mr. Burge has active and ardent Friends and who make out for him a string case – while the interest you take for Mr. Chudsey with his other claims – commend him I assure you very imposingly to our favorable consideration. Many of our respectable friends in Washington County and who are friends of all three candidates, - by the way of avoiding the difficulty of deciding between the three, have suggested the idea of dropping the three, and have recommended Sylvester G. Sherman for the office – which of course brings a fourth man. This it is said will mitigate the disappointment of the friends of the other defeated candidates, if not of the candidates themselves, and meet the most general approval of the county, as well as of the business men in, and about Wickford. – After all I do not consider the Delegation in any way committed for either candidate – For myself I consider each well qualified, and deserving of the place, and would cheerfully recommend either. – At the same time Sir be assured that my confidence in your superior knowledge of all the bearings and merits of this matter will have great influence in what I may do in connection with it.


            You name Cranston Sweet of North Kingston for Light house keeper – But if Chudsey should be appointed surveyor I think it likely that either Reynolds or Shell & most probably the latter will get that light house at Wickford.


             The early proceedings in the house of Representatives, which you speak of – I admit seemed somewhat inauspicious, but after all if the pot must boil over it is better to have it in the early stage of the process, that the froth and foam may be cast off – in order that the cooks may see better what they are preparing for the table of their masters the sovereign people.


              But things have assumed a better aspect, and hope of a useful session is now more confidently understood. The Bill for the Fiscal Bak of the U.S. – was the special order for today – but goes over till tomorrow. I have already forwarded to you the report of the Committee on that subject. – The troops are marshaled for a general action – But the real tug of war will be on the power to establish branches independent of the will of the states. We do not intend to resign that Constitutional power 0 and yet we shall have hard work to retain it in the bill – We shall try however & I hope and rather believe with success – If the Bill passes retaining that power – I believe – notwithstanding opinions of many to the contrary the President will sign it - … The process of removals is rather slow – But it will be sure and searching – The Post Office removal in Providence – which has been the subject of unexpected delay – will soon be realized – I am very sure it is determined on – and will soon be announced by the nomination of Gover Arnold.


            A word more in relation to the surveyor at pour Port – two candidates are here named – Peleg San born and Mr. R. H. Niles – which will you have? I think we shall be able to leave here early in August  … Nathan F. Dixon”



      Nathan Fellows Dixon was a United States senator from Rhode Island. He was born in Plainfield, Connecticut, he attended Plainfield Academy and graduated from the College of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the former name of Brown University) in 1799. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1801 and commenced practice in New London County, Connecticut. He moved to Westerly, Rhode Island in 1802 and continued the practice of law, and also engaged in banking, serving as president of the Washington bank of Westerly from 1829 until his death.


           Dixon was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1813 -1830 and served as a colonel in the state militia. He was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1839, until his death in Washington, D.C., in 1842. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Twenty-seventh Congress). He was buried in Westerly, R.I.