30 March 1841
adams-john10 Neal Millikan Spoils System
293 Washington Tuesday 30. March 1841. Alexandria.

30. IV:45. Tuesday.

Gordon Charles Hallowell Benjamin Janney Phineas Homer James Lloyd. Hellen Walter Thomas James.

Mr Charles Gordon heretofore an important clerk in the General Land Office dismissed under the Jackson administration for the colour of his political coat, afterwards employed three several times by direction of the Senate, as a draughtsman to protract the lands surveys came to shew me a machine of his own invention for protracting surveys made by the chain and compass— His dismission according to his statement was one of the first steps to that Chaos of Confusion into which the whole management of the Office has fallen— The extent of which may be imagined from the necessity of an act of Congress actually passed at the recent Session to legalize the whole mass of the land Patents issued for several years.— Mr Gordon wants restoration to his place— Mr. Homer came to set forth his equitable claims to a clerkship in one of the Departments here, consisting 1. In his wants 2. In his misfortunes; having failed in business as publisher of a compound Newspaper in Boston 3. In the fact that there is not a single Bostonian in any of the subordinate public offices. His purpose is to be a Letter-writer for sundry Newspapers; for which a Clerkship will be a convenient location. He had a recommendation signed by Rufus Choate and some others, but Mr Bates had neglected him; and it was said the Members of the Massachusetts were not so zealous in supporting the applications of their constituents for office as others, but Mr Webster had advised him to apply to Mr Ewing and Mr Granger, whose Departments had much more patronage than his, but said that if he should fail with them, after all, he would take care of him. He promised to send me a copy of his address to the Boston Charitable Mechanic Association in 1836.— Coll. James Thomas was here and gave me many details of the competitions for Office, and for the bestowal of Office some of which are humiliating.— Walter Hellen likewise called— Mr Hallowell and Mr Janney came with a Carriage from Alexandria, and took me down there, where I dined with Mr Edmund Jennings Lee and a party of ten of his family and friends among whom were Messrs Fowle, Dana, the Episcopalian Minister of the Church, his Son Cassius Lee with his wife, a married daughter, besides Mrs Lee Hallowell, Janney and two or three others— After dinner, with most of the same company and some others, we took tea at Benjamin Hallowell’s—then at half past seven we went to the Lyceum where I delivered my Lecture on Society and civilization to a crowded auditory after which there was a debate on the question whether phrenology is a Science useful to the community. The meeting broke up between 10 and 11. and I returned with Mr Lee to lodge at his house.