James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Barnabas Bidwell, 27 June 1807

Boston, June 27th. 1807


Having, in compliance with the wishes of my friends here, accepted the office of Attorney General of this Commonwealth, I have, of course, resigned my seat in Congress, and a Writ of Election, to supply the vacancy, is ordered by the State Executive, agreeably to the provision of the Constitution. It was with some hesitation that I concurred in this arrangement, notwithstanding my habitual preference of law to politics and a sincere desire to be in some situation favourable to the execution of a long contemplated work on the law of this State and of the United States. For I could not but consider myself in a degree pledged to my constituents for another biennial term. My family had also consented to my absence from home for that purpose, and I felt a strong inclination to spend next winter in particular at the seat of government, in order, among other things, that I might have a voice, with my Republican brethren, in nominating candidates for the next election of President & Vice-President, in the expected case of a new nomination. But I have yielded to the opinion of friends and a sense of duty, and already entered upon the business of my new office, without, however, removing to this town at present, as I wish to make an experiment of the office before I determine upon a change of residence.

On taking leave, perhaps forever, of Washington, you will pardon my vanity in offering to yourself & Mrs. Madison a grateful acknowledgment of the polite and friendly notice, which I have experienced at your house, and an assurance of the high respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your cordial friend & humble servant,

Barnabas Bidwell

DLC: Papers of James Madison.

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