James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joshua Barney, 12 March 1809

From Joshua Barney

Baltimore, March 12th, 1809.


Immediately after the affair of the Chesapeake (July 4th.) I went to Mr. Jefferson, making him a tender of my personal services.1 As our country seems yet to be menaced by foreign powers, I still hold it my duty to continue that offer, which I now do to you as President of the United States. I do it the more cheerfully because I am not unknown to you personally.2 I shall always feel a sincere pleasure in contributing my feeble abilities in any manner you please, for the good of our country and still more so when it is to support an Administration whose principles perfectly coincide with my own. I am, Sir, with due respect,

Joshua Barney.

Printed copy (Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 14 [1911]: 138).

1Barney to Jefferson, 4 July 1807, in Hulbert Footner, Sailor of Fortune: The Life and Adventures of Commodore Barney, U.S.N. (New York, 1940), p. 244.

2Joshua Barney (1759–1818) commanded the General Washington, which arrived in Philadelphia early in 1783, when JM was serving there in Congress, with copies of the preliminary treaty of Paris ending the war for American independence. Barney left the navy in May 1784 (ibid., pp. 138–39; PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77, vols. 11–, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , 6:333).

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