James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Warner, 5 June 1812

From John Warner

Philad. June 5th 1812.


In company today with a few friends, I was informed that a Mr. John Dayton Merchant of this City, had a strong recommendation to be appointed consul to South America or Brazill,1 haveing known him for a considerable time & believeing that from the Respectable names to his petition he might be imposed on You as a character suited for the situatio⟨n⟩ I am induced out of friendship to You to state that Mr. Dayton has been twice deranged & that he has for a considerable time been confined in the Hospital & but a few weeks since he was released. This I consider the Strong Reason why he Should not be appointed but in Addition to this, at this moment I should think it highly improper, to appoint a person who has for a number of Years acted as a British Agent & whose derangements alone prior to our present Restrictions deprived him of business from Englan⟨d⟩. You will please excuse the Liberty I have taken in this communication & believe that it is to prevent an improper appointment as I can assure that I have always entertained a good opinion of Mr. Dayton when in good health. Yours Very Respectfully

John Warner
late of Wilmington Delaware2

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). Cover marked by JM “Confidential.” Docketed by Monroe: “Mr Warner relative to Mr Dayton.”

2John Warner was a member of a family of West India merchants in Wilmington, Delaware. From 1794 to 1816, when he was appointed U.S. consul in Puerto Rico, he ran a wholesale and transportation business with his brother, William. Warner had corresponded with JM ten years earlier on spoliation problems (see Scharf, History of Delaware, 2:758–59; 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 , 3:20–21; PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (4 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 2:382 n.).

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