James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William Eustis, 7 September 1810

To William Eustis

Montpelier Sepr. 7. 1810

Dear Sir

I have recd. your favor of the 26. That of the 19th. Ult. has been already acknowledged. Having written to Washington for the precedents in the case of calling out the Militia, & employing the regular force, to execute the Act of 1794. agst. unauthorized enterprizes on foreign nations, I have recd. a copy of Genl. Dearborns letter to Govr Greenup, now inclosed.1 In your absence from the Office, it may not be disagreeable to see it; tho’ it rather sanctions a dispensation with, than furnishes a ground of, any particular form, to be used in giving the requisite authorities to the State or territorial Govts. Govr. Holmes, I find has been apprized by the Dept. of State that he would have an Agency, in carrying the law into execution if necessary. But it is from the Secy. of War, that the regular power is to proceed. You will observe that the orders to the Military Commanders on the subject, must include a delegation of authority, according to the text of the law. This I presume is sufficiently done in your instructions to Genl. H. & Col. C.2 I inclose for your perusal an interesting letter from Judge Toulmin.3 One of later date from him to Mr. Graham, subtracts somewhat from the evidence it presents; but the details alone are worth knowing. The last letter from Mr Pinkney is of July 6. He was still kept under an expectation that satisfaction would be specialy tendered for the Chesapeake &c., and a hope that the Old blockades wd. be revoked in conformity to the French proposal. He was confident that a Minister Plenipo. wd. follow Morier, & assurances in writing be quickly given to that effect. He repeats that he wd. probably be a man of rank & talents, and the letter which is official, refers to his private letter of  4 to Mr. Smith on that point. Should the letter go to Congs. it will satisfy the honest doubters as to the private letter; but it will be too late to controul the effect of their incredulity, on the current events. Will you be good eno’ to do what may be proper in relation to the letter from Henry Burchsted?5 Accept assurances of my great esteem & regard

James Madison

RC (MHi: Eustis Papers).

2Wade Hampton and Thomas Cushing.

4Left blank by JM. The official letter to which JM referred was Pinkney’s 1 July 1810 dispatch to Robert Smith, where Pinkney repeated his claim, first made in his private letter of 4 Jan. 1810 to Robert Smith, that Lord Wellesley had always intended to send a new minister to the U.S. to replace Francis James Jackson. Administration critics had doubted the existence of Pinkney’s 4 Jan. letter (see ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States ... (38 vols.; Washington, 1832-61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:360; JM to the House of Representatives, 27 Mar. 1810, and n. 2; Graham to JM, 3 Sept. 1810, n. 3).

5Letter not found. Henry A. Burchsted was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy. Evidently he was in some disciplinary difficulty, since he wrote to Eustis on 27 Nov. 1810 asking to be informed whether he had been “discharged entirely” from the army. According to Eustis’s note on the verso, JM then ordered Burchsted to be restored to the service as of 1 Jan. 1811 (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, B-253:5).

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