James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Samuel L. Southard and Others, [November 1813]

From Samuel L. Southard and Others

[November 1813]


We understand that Henry Southard Esq. to whom you gave a Commission for collecting the Direct taxes and Internal Duties in the Third Collection District of New Jersey, has declined the appointment1—and that the legislature of the State has passed a Law to pay their quota of the Direct Tax out of the Treasury. These circumstances we presume will render it necessary for you to appoint a Collector of the Internal Duties for the 3rd. District and as Inhabitants of that District & persons wishing well to the Administration, we venture to recommend to you for that Office Genl. Nathan Price of the County of Hunterdon.2 We are acquainted with his qualifications, and with the sentiments of the District, and we assure you, that he is well qualified to discharge the duties of the Office in such way as best to promote the public interests—and that his appointment will meet the approbation of the Republicans of the District Generally.

Draft (NjP: Samuel L. Southard Papers). Undated; conjectural date assigned on the basis of evidence in n. 2 and the assumption that the position was offered to Henry Southard in late October 1813. Unsigned; writer identified on the basis of comparison with Samuel L. Southard’s handwriting and the draft’s location among his papers.

1Henry Southard (1747–1842), a farmer, Revolutionary War veteran, and Jeffersonian Republican, was a legislator in the New Jersey House of Assembly during the 1790s and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1801 to 1811. Defeated for reelection in 1810 and 1812, he returned to the New Jersey legislature for one term but was back in Congress by 1816, where he served until 1821. His son Samuel Lewis Southard (1787–1842) graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1804 and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1809. In 1811 he established a law practice in New Jersey and became active in the Republican party. He was a state supreme court judge, 1815–20, a U.S. senator, 1820–23, Secretary of the Navy, 1823–29, New Jersey attorney general, 1829–32, and governor of New Jersey, 1832–33. In 1833 he returned to the Senate, where he served until his death (Michael Birkner, Samuel L. Southard: Jeffersonian Whig [Rutherford, N.J., 1984], 17–18, 20–21, 24–28, 35, 46, 50–51, 64, 118, 134–35, 140, 197–98).

2On 13 Dec. 1813 JM nominated Nathan Price as collector for the third collection district of New Jersey. The Senate confirmed the appointment on 16 Dec. (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 2:438–39).

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