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Jonathan Jackson letter to Timothy Bigelow


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Jonathan Jackson, who was the first United States Marshal for the state of Massachusetts, served in his state's constitutional convention and in the Second Continental Congress in 1782.

Born on June 4, 1743, in Boston, Jackson graduated from Harvard in 1761. Prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution, Jackson was a successful importer and merchant. During the war, he was very generous in his financial support of the colonials and was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, as well as served on the Board of War.

By the end of the revolution, Jackson was nearly bankrupt. Consequently, he applied for a position in the new federal government and was appointed by President Washington as the first U. S. Marshal for Massachusetts. Later, he served as Treasuer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1802-1806).

During his period as state treasurer, he also served as treasurer for Harvard University. It was probably in his capacity as Harvard's treasurer that his letter to Timothy Bigelow was written. He died in Boston on March 5, 1810.

United States Marshals Service. Historical Perspective: the first generation of United States Marshals. [, accessed November 9, 2009] Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. [, accessed November 9, 2009]

Timothy Bigelow was noted Boston lawyer and a representative to the Massachusetts Legislature for eighteen years, serving until his death in 1821.

Born on April 30, 1767, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to American Revolutionary Colonel Timothy Bigelow. In the spring of 1779, the young man served with his father in the continental Army in the Rhode Island campaign.

After graduating from Harvard University in 1786, he studied law in the office of Levi Lincoln and was admitted to the bar in 1789. He began a successful law practice in Groton, Massachusetts. As an attorney, he pleaded over 15,000 cases in the courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

By 1804, Bigelow was serving in the state legislature. During his terms he was the selected Speaker of the House for numerous years, the last term being from 1812-1819.

Howe, Gilman Bigelow. Genealogy of the Bigelow family of America, from the marriage in 1642 of John Biglo and Mary Warren to the year 1890. (Worcester, Mass., Printed by C. Hamilton, 1890). [, accessed November 9, 2009]

A single-page handwritten and signed letter written by Jonathan Jackson, treasurer of Harvard College, to attorney Timothy Bigelow, requesting his assistance with a university legal matter.

Box 58, F0844: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, 1993.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, November 2009. Further encoded by George Apodaca, November 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2015 November 5
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Jonathan Jackson letter to Timothy Bigelow.
Box 58 Folder F0844

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