James Madison Papers

From James Madison to John Carroll, 4 December 1805

To John Carroll

Washington Decemr. 4. 1805

Dear Sir

I received in due time your favor of the 20th. Ulto. and had hoped that less time would have been lost in availing my son in law1 of the opening for him with Mr. Dubourg. For some days however previous to the arrival of his mother, he had a complaint in his bowels, which rendered several doses of medicine necessary. The little delay required by her affection, after her arrival, was prolonged by the disagreeable idea of sending him with crouds of drunken sailors who now fill every Stage,2 and without any particular acquaintance to take charge of him. All difficulties are at length removed by the patronage of him on the journey by our neighbor Mr Forrest3 who sits out with him tomorrow morning & will be so good as to present and introduce him into the care of his preceptor. The kind attention which you have shewn on the occasion, and the friendly sentiments expressed in your last letter, have not lost the effect they ought to have on our gratitude, and I beseech you to be assured that I shall always be happy in evincing that sentiment as well as every other with which I ought to remain My dear & right Revd. Sir Your Most Obedt. hble. sert.

James Madison.

RC (Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore). Docketed by Carroll.

1JM’s stepson, John Payne Todd.

2JM presumably referred to sailors from the frigate Congress, which had arrived at Greenleaf Point on 29 Nov. 1805 (Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, 6:312).

3“High toned federalist” Richard Forrest (ca. 1767–1828) was secretary to the commissioners of bankruptcy for the District of Columbia in 1803 and was a clerk at the State Department from 1806 until his death. JM nominated him in 1809 to be consul at Tunis, and in 1811 to be consul at Tripoli, both of which nominations were rejected by the Senate (New York American Citizen, 4 Mar. 1808; Washington Daily National Journal, 10 Oct. 1828; Washington Federalist, 25 Nov. 1803; DNA: RG 217, First Auditor’s Accounts, no. 17,9851⁄2; PJM-PS, 3:195 n. 1).

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