James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Armstrong, 3 August 1812

From John Armstrong


New york Augt. 3d. 1812.

Dear Sir,

I arrived here on friday last and have this day taken the command.1 Gen. Bloomfield left us this morning.2 He has been both frank and friendly & I should do wrong were I not to make this acknowlegment, as well to you as to him. Before we parted, he wished me to suggest, that he thought it adviseable under all circumstances, that he should be left in New Jersey untill the 25th. of September next. All the measures of state policy, with which he has connexion, & in the management of which his presence may be useful, will then have been taken. Having occasion to see Mr. Gallatin, this circumstance became a subject of conversation between us, and we supposed, that it would be well to reinstate the General in the direction of the recruiting service within the States of Jersey & Pennsylvania & order Col. Izzard to his place. I have one motive the more for presenting this subject thus early to your own consideration, as I understand from Gen. Bloomfield, that Gen. Dearborn has intimated to him in a letter of the 31st. Ult. a wish, that he would repair to Albany as early as his convenience would allow. I shall employ the first days of this week in examining the different posts & their respective garrisons, when I shall have the honor of addressing an official letter to the Secretary of the War Department in relation to them. I am with the greatest respect & esteem, Your faithful & obedient servant

J Armstrong.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1On 20 July 1812 Eustis ordered Armstrong to take command of the city and port of New York (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

2Joseph Bloomfield (1753–1823), who had served as a major in the Revolutionary War, renounced his Federalist leanings in 1800 and was subsequently elected Republican governor of New Jersey. Bloomfield resigned this post after receiving a brigadier general’s commission in March 1812. Initially assigned to the command of the city and port of New York, Bloomfield requested a leave of absence to meet with the New Jersey legislature in August. After discharging this duty, he reported to Dearborn in Albany. He was then assigned the command of troops in Plattsburgh, New York (Sobel and Raimo, Biographical Directory of the Governors, 3:1010; Eustis to Bloomfield, 18 July and 4 Aug. 1812 [DNA: RG 107, LSMA]; Dearborn to Eustis, 24 Nov. 1812 [DNA: RG 107, LRRS, D-254:6]).

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