James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jared Ingersoll, 28 January 1810

From Jared Ingersoll

Philadelphia January 28t 1810

Dear Sir

This Letter will be handed to you by my son Charles,1 who is already known to you by correspondence and is desirous of the honor of being personally acquainted.

We are anxiously waiting the result of the deliberations of Congress, the general sentiment seems to be in favor of adopting measures to prepare for defence if necessary and then to wait for the intelligence of the temper manifested in the British Cabinet.

I suspect that if Mr. Macons Bill2 was put to vote in this City, the Majority would be for rejecting it, nor do I believe that party discriminations would influence, or at least not draw the line between yeas & nays, there is I suppose an immense amount of American property abroad, the British possess such a naval Ubiquity, that nothing at Sea can escape their Fangs, when they are tempted to seize, nor are they always, it is said, over scrupulous on these occasions; however the subject is full of difficulty and in my retired way of life I have few means of information on affairs of a political nature. I am With great respect Sir Your obedient Servant

Jared Ingersoll3


1Charles Jared Ingersoll (1782–1862) was a Philadelphia lawyer who had sent JM in 1808 a copy of his widely circulated anti-British pamphlet, A View of the Rights and Wrongs, Power and Policy, of the United States of America (Philadelphia, 1808; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 (22 vols. to date; New York, 1958-). description ends 15302). He later served in the House of Representatives during the Thirteenth Congress, after which JM, in February 1815, appointed him U.S. attorney for Pennsylvania. Ingersoll also became a close friend and frequent correspondent of JM’s (Ingersoll to JM, 26 Nov. 1808 [DLC]; William M. Meigs, The Life of Charles Jared Ingersoll [Philadelphia, 1900], pp. 67, 88, 97).

2On Macon’s Bill No. 1, see JM to William Pinkney, 20 Jan. 1810, and n. 1.

3Jared Ingersoll (1749–1822) served with JM in the Continental Congress and at the Federal Convention in 1787. A prominent Philadelphia lawyer, he had consulted JM while representing the plaintiff before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hylton v. U.S. (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1-10, Chicago, 1962-77, vols. 11-17, Charlottesville, Va., 1977-91). description ends , 16:219, 224, 231). He was later the Federalist vice-presidential candidate in the election of 1812.

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