From James A. Bayard
Wilmington 14th. April 1812
In conformity to Your desire I have availed myself of the most fit occasion which has presented itself to intimate to Mr. Rodney Your disposition and views respecting him in relation to the vacant place of Judge of this District.
I requested him at the time not to give me an immediate answer but to allow his determination to be the result of consideration on the subject.
He has since come to the conclusion to decline the appointment, which he has made Known to me with a view to its being Communicated to You. If You should deem it proper to postpone the nomination of a Judge for a few days I would offer You my humble services upon my return to Washington in giving information as to the legal characters in the State, with all of Whom I have been acquainted during the time they have been at the Bar.1 I have the honor to be Sir Your very obt. Sert.
J. A. Bayard2
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.
1. JM nominated John Fisher to be judge of the district court of Delaware on 22 Apr. 1812 (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 , 2:254).
2. James Ashton Bayard (1767–1815) had been serving as a U.S. senator from Delaware since 1805. A graduate of the College of New Jersey at Princeton and a Federalist in his politics, Bayard had served in the House of Representatives from 1796 to 1802. His decision to cast a blank vote in February 1801 in the presidential contest between Jefferson and Burr was probably instrumental in resolving the outcome of the electoral college tie in favor of the former. Although he was to vote against the declaration of war against Great Britain in June 1812, JM offered him an appointment in 1813 as a peace commissioner under the mediation of Russia, and the following year he was to participate in the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Ghent. In February 1815 JM nominated him to be minister to Russia, but he declined and died a few months later (Woodward and Craven, Princetonians, 1784–1790, pp. 4–9; 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 , 2:346, 390, 451, 623).