James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lambert, 23 December 1805 (Abstract)

From William Lambert, 23 December 1805 (Abstract)

§ From William Lambert.1 23 December 1805, Washington. “Being now out of the service of the House of Representatives, and desirous of being employed in such a manner as that I may be useful to the public, allow me, Sir, to enquire whether I may be considered as an applicant for a station in your department, that I may be deemed competent to fill with propriety, whenever a vacancy occurs, provided I do not unjustly interfere with the pretensions of any other person.”

RC (DLC). 1 p.

1William Lambert (d. 1834) was a clerk in the State Department from November 1790 through September 1792 under Jefferson. He was one of the clerks of the House of Representatives under Chief Clerk John Beckley from 1801 to 1805, often serving as acting chief clerk in Beckley’s absence. In early December 1805 he offered himself as a candidate for chief clerk, but the House voted for Beckley and against Lambert, 85 votes to 18, and Beckley fired Lambert. JM was well enough acquainted with Lambert that, in contrast to his usual wont with applicants, he wrote Lambert on 6 Jan. 1806, explaining that there was no current opening in the department nor was there the prospect of one in the near future, and should one occur, a successful applicant would have “a knowledge of some of the modern languages” (Boyd, Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 26:234–35 n.; Richmond Enquirer, 6 Dec. 1805; PJM-SS, 2:419 n. 1, 459 n. 1, 4:285 n. 2, 317 n. 1, 350 n., 494 n. 7, 8:487 n. 1; DLC).

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