James Madison Papers

Ezekiel Bacon to James Monroe, 21 February 1814

Ezekiel Bacon to James Monroe

Pittsfield (Ms). Feby. 21. 1814


Yours of the 12th. Inst. accompanying my commission as Comptroller of the Treasury was received by the last mail. I am not insensible of the high honor done me by this very unexpected mark of confidence on the part of the President.

The circumstance of its being so entirely unexpected & out of the range of all my past calculations, will I trust be thought sufficient to justify me in asking a very few days to consider of a question in every point of view so serious & important as the acceptance of an office involving in it so high trusts & responsibilities & having so material a bearing on the present circumstances & the future fortunes of myself & family— in the mean time & for the purpose of preventing any unnecessary delay which might incommode the public service, I would request you to have the goodness to inform me the longest period at which in case of my acceptance my attendance at the seat of Govt. & my entering upon the duties of the office will be deemed indispensible, since it will redily occur that some little time will be necessary for me to arrange my family & personal concerns before I leave them. With much respect I have the honor to be Your obt. Servt.

E Bacon1

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). In a clerk’s hand, signed by Bacon. Docketed by Daniel Brent as received on 3 Mar., with Monroe’s direction: “For the President.”

1Ezekiel Bacon (1776–1870), a native of Boston, 1794 graduate of Yale College, and Massachusetts attorney, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1807–13, the last two years as chair of the Ways and Means committee. He was chief justice of the Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas for the Western District, 1813–14, then accepted the proffered appointment as comptroller of the Treasury but held it only until 1815. After moving to Utica, New York, he was justice of the Oneida County Court of Common Pleas, 1818–20, a member of the state legislature in 1819, and a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1821 (Looney et al., Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, 3:358).

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