James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard Rush, 3 February 1812

From Richard Rush

Washington February 3d. 1812.


While the military nominations are under consideration, I have ventured to think that it would not be unwelcome to the executive to receive, from every source, information in regard to characters in our country who may have pretensions in this line.

Under this impression I took the liberty, a few days ago, to hand to the secretary of war a paper of which the enclosed is a copy.1

It is with his permission that I thus take the liberty to enclose the copy to you. I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your obt. servt.

Richard Rush.

RC and enclosure (PHi: Richard Rush Papers). For enclosure, see n. 1.

1Rush enclosed a copy of a three-page letter he had written on 30 Jan. 1812 to Secretary of War Eustis on behalf of George Izard of Philadelphia. “It is probable,” wrote Rush, “that Mr. Izard may not, at this time, be even known to any of the delegates from Pennsylvania.” Rush was anxious that Izard receive an appointment in the U.S. Army, and he accordingly outlined for Eustis the family history as well as the military education and experience of his candidate. Describing Izard as “in all respects … a highly formed man,” Rush also stated, “In politics he is reputed of the federal party; but I know he is not of the portion of it hostile to our institutions,” adding that Izard’s education and residence in Europe had left him “upon these points, dispassionate and liberal” and “a sound American.” “The record of such an individual,” Rush concluded, “not obtrusively urged I hope at such a time, may at least lie—to be used or not—among the other attestations to military merit which it is probable must at this season croud your files.”

On 5 Mar. 1812 JM nominated Izard (1776–1828) to be a colonel in the artillery, and in March 1813 he was promoted to brigadier general. In January 1814 JM elevated him to the rank of major general, and Izard took command of the right wing of the American forces in New York and Vermont during the 1814 Niagara campaign. Throughout the campaign he disagreed strongly with Secretary of War John Armstrong over strategic issues, and he resigned his commission shortly before the end of the war with Great Britain (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:225, 356, 460, 462).

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