James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Henry Dearborn, 4 April 1812

From Henry Dearborn

Washington April 4th. 1812


Having written a letter to the Secretary of War,1 in which I have expressed a readiness to enter on the duties of my military appointment, I take the liberty, from the conversations that have passed on the subject, of reminding you, that I shall take it for granted, that the office of collector at Boston, will be kept open until war be actually commenced, or abandoned for the present and that in the latter case, I shall expect to be replaced in the office of Collector, which I now resign. The Deputy Collector is fully competent to the duties of the office, and during the continuence of the Embargo and nonintercourse, there will be very little business excepting the coasting trade and of course there cannot, I presume, be any material objections to my propositions. I am Sir with the highest respect your Obedient Servant

H. Dearborn

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1In a 4 Apr. letter to Eustis that is remarkable for both its modesty and its foresight, Dearborn declared: “As the present important crisis appears to demand the united and immediate exertions of all good Citizens … I consider it incumbent on me to observe, that I am ready to devote such limited tallents as I possess to those services which my Country may demand, and with the fullest confidence in the Justice of our cause, and in the protection of a Just, overruling Providence, but I must be permitted to claim not only the greatest candour from my Government & Country, but likewise all the indulgence, for errors and defects, in the execution of the important duties which may be confided to my direction” (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, D-48:6).

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