James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Mooers and Peter Sailly, 19 March 1814

From Benjamin Mooers and Peter Sailly

Plattsburgh March 19th. 1814


The object of this letter is merely to inform your Excellency, that, in consequence of Reports Circulated that Genl. Wilkinson would Soon be arrested or recalled from his Command, on account of the failure of the plans of the last Campaign, Some of the principal inhabitants of these Northern Counties Contemplate to address you on that Subject, and to express Sentiments favorable to the General—the Sensibilities of the people of this Section have been very differently excited in relation to the Conduct of Genl. Hampton.

So far as we have observed, Genl. Wilkinson appears to be a favorite with the Army And popular amongst the inhabitants; and we are under the impression that it may be Useful that the President of the United States Should Know it. Let this, our motive, be our apology for what otherwise, would be justly deemed an improper intrusion—And permit us to say that we feel in this instance no partialities and have no private Views; and that we hold it a Sound doctrine, that men in the public service Should rise, Stand or fall according to their merit and Actions. We have the honor to be with a very high respect Sir Your humble and obedient Servants

Benj. Mooers1

Petr Sailly2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Benjamin Mooers (1758–1838) was a Revolutionary War veteran and a major general in the New York militia, which he commanded in the defense of Plattsburgh in September 1814 (“Major-General Benjamin Mooers, of Plattsburg, N.Y.,” Historical Magazine, 3d ser., 1 [1872–73]: 92, 94; Quimby, U.S. Army in the War of 1812, 2:608–11, 624–25).

2Peter Sailly (1754–1826) emigrated to the United States from France in 1785, represented New York in Congress, 1805–7, and served as collector of the Champlain district from 1809 until his death (George S. Bixby, Peter Sailly (1754–1826): A Pioneer of the Champlain Valley with Extracts from his Diary and Letters [Albany, N.Y., 1919], 13, 19, 29–31, 51–53).

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