James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Hunter, 29 June 1814

From William Hunter

Newport Rhode Island June 29th. 1814.


Permit me to introduce Col. Searle Adjutant General who presents himself to you charged by this State with business peculiarly interesting to its welfare. I understand he is instructed to represent our defenceless and distressed situation, to request of the General Government efficient assistance and to offer the prompt and constitutional co-operation of this State in all necessary measures for its defence.

Col Searle is a member of our Legislature and will explain with frankness its views & wishes. He is personally a Gentleman of great respectability and I venture to solicit, Sir, your attention for him & his mission1—and have the honor to be with sentiments of high respect Sir, Your obedient, humble Servant,

William Hunter.2

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, S-38:8). Cover marked “Col. Searle.” Filed with Nathaniel Searle Jr. to John Armstrong, 8 July 1814, in which Searle stated that JM had referred Rhode Island’s request to Armstrong. Searle also wrote to JM on this subject on 6 July 1814 (ibid., J-184:8).

1Nathaniel Searle Jr. of Providence was a partner in a cotton mill known as the Providence Manufacturing Company (William R. Bagnall, The Textile Industries of the United States Including Sketches and Notices of Cotton, Woolen Silk, and Linen Manufactures in the Colonial Period, vol. 1, 1639–1810 [Cambridge, Mass., 1893], 451–54).

2William Hunter (1774–1849) graduated from the College of Rhode Island (now Brown University) in 1791 and studied law in London. He was admitted to the Rhode Island bar and practiced law, served in the state legislature from 1799 to 1811, and was a member of the U.S. Senate, 1811–21. Appointed chargé des affaires in Brazil in 1834, he served there until 1844, the last two years as minister plenipotentiary (Daily National Intelligencer, 14 Dec. 1849).

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