James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jacob Wagner, 27 August 1805

From Jacob Wagner

Washington 27 Augt. 1805.

Dear Sir

Be pleased to sign and return to me the enclosed letters for the Secretary of the Treasury.1 I enclose a letter, which as it appears to be addressed in the handwriting of your overseer, I have not opened.2 Mr. Duffield has resigned the commission of Judge of Orleans Territory on account of the effect of the climate upon his health.3 I have enclosed the resignation to the President.

A short time before your departure, Dr. Triplitt was induced by what he had heard from OBrien to apply to me for information, whether the government would probably send the Doctor requested by the Dey of Algiers, proposing in that case to offer his services.4 I promised to mention the subject to you but did not find the opportunity until the Dr. had left town; he has now returned and renewed his application. I have been acquainted with him but a short time, and therefore can say nothing more in his favor than that I hear him very favourably spoken of for his manners, temper and professional ability. He is a native of Virginia, has served in the Navy, is personally acquainted with Mr. Lear, and undertakes to offer the best testimonials of his personal and professional character. He thinks it reasonable, in case he is approved, that a moderate pecuniary aid should be allowed him by the government until his introduction to practise at Algiers should render it unnecessary. He observes that the Secretary of the Navy will be able to speak of the reputation he enjoyed in the Navy. I have the honor to remain with perfect respect & attachment Your most obed. servt.

Jacob Wagner

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Triplett”). Docketed by Jefferson “Triplett Dr. to go to Algiers.”

1The letters have not been found, but they may have included JM to Albert Gallatin, 17 Aug. 1805.

2This was probably Gideon Gooch to JM, 28 July 1805.

4For Mustafa Dey’s request that an American doctor be sent to him, see PJM-SS 8:446. Thomas Triplett was a naval surgeon from 14 Oct. 1799 to 4 July 1804. He was reinstated on 6 May 1806 and arrived in the Mediterranean in December 1806, expecting to become personal physician to Mustafa Dey; but in December 1807 Tobias Lear reported: “Dr. Triplett finds his expectations of doing well in his profession here, entirely defeated,” so Lear employed him as his secretary (Knox, Register of Officer Personnel, 56; Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, 6:490; Lear to JM, 31 Dec. 1807, DNA: RG 59, CD, Algiers, vol. 7, pt. 2).

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