James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Jared Ingersoll, 15 February 1814

From Charles Jared Ingersoll

House of Representatives 15. February 1814


I beg leave to ask your attention to the enclosed letter1—besides which I have received two of a similar character, but anonymous, from Rawleigh in North Carolina. I have also been given to understand by a Gentleman of veracity in Washington that gross frauds are practiced by the Post Master General or his immediate agents in the contracts for carrying the mails. I have the honor to subscribe myself your very respectful humble servant

C. J. Ingersoll

RC and enclosures (DLC). Docketed by JM. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1Ingersoll enclosed an 11 Feb. 1814 letter (3 pp.) to him from Zachariah Brooks of Manchester, Virginia, expressing support for Ingersoll’s attempts to reform the Post Office Department (see JM to Thomas Jefferson, 13 Feb. 1814, n. 1), and urging that witnesses be summoned to testify to abuses perpetrated by that department in contracting with mail carriers. Brooks provided the names of six potential witnesses and suggested that Ingersoll send him subpoenas for them, which would be “duly executed and returned.” He alleged, in addition, that at least one of postmaster general Gideon Granger’s “Favorites” did not abide by “that Law of Congress which inhibits the Carriage of the Mail by people of Colour” (see U.S. Statutes at Large, description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends 2:594), and observed that “in times like the present,” investigation of this circumstance was “also very important.” He enclosed an 11 Feb. 1814 testimonial to his good character, signed by five members of the Virginia legislature, with an appended note to the same effect by George Hay (1 p.).

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