James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Charles Philip, Baron de Hanstein, 21 June 1804

To Charles Philip, Baron de Hanstein

Department of State, June 21st. 1804.


Your letter of the 6th. February last, having been received by the President of the United States,1 he referred it to this Department; and in consequence enquiries have been made for the family of Mr. Anderson to whom you refer. From them the enclosed letter has been transmitted, which I forward with pleasure. It being neither usual nor convenient for the Executive Government to ascertain the facts & procure the certificates which may be necessary to establish claims of the nature you describe, I have forwarded to Mr. Anderson, a copy of your letter,2 leaving it to his care to exicute [sic] your wishes in this particular. I am &c.

James Madison.

Letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, IC, vol. 1).

1Hanstein’s letter to Jefferson, 6 Feb. 1804 (DNA: RG 59, ML; 2 pp.; docketed by Jefferson as received 15 May and by Wagner), written from Prussia, requested the president to certify the £8,000 loss his father-in-law had sustained as a Loyalist in the American Revolution so that Hanstein might seek compensation from Great Britain. Hanstein, a Hessian officer during the American Revolution, also asked the president to inform him of the fate of his wife’s brother-in-law, New York merchant John Anderson. Jefferson passed the letter to JM with his notation: “These offices of humanity are proper for a govern⟨ment⟩ to lend a hand to, where the individual has no other ⟨re⟩source. Recommended therefore to the attention of the office of State.”

2See Bernard Smith to John Anderson, 22 June 1804 (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14), where Smith repeated the substance of JM’s letter to Hanstein and offered to transmit documents to Europe “thro’ the medium of this Department.”

Index Entries