James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Alexander J. Dallas, 19 May 1815

Montpelier May 19 1815

Dear Sir

Yours of the 16. is recd. The Army report was returned some time ago. There have of late been delays between this & Fredg. owing to inattention at the P. O. there, which may account for your not having recd. the reports. There must have been a miscarriage altogether of the Document transferring appropriations. I now return a Duplicate sent to me from the War Department.

I am apprehensive that some uneasiness will be produced in Kentucky by the organization & appts. for the Army; however unavoidable the causes of it may be. It probably happens, that there will be a greater proportion of individual disappointments, and a smaller proportion of selections to the aggregate and acknowledged merits, of the people there, than elsewhere, and the want of a Western Member of the Board at Washington, will not fail to excite attention. The whole is to be regretted, but no remedy I presume can be applied. On reflection I think it will be best to accept Croghan’s resignation, and if there be no special objection to Majr. Z. Taylor’s replacing him, it may be done. A selection from Kentucky or Tennessee, seems indispensable.

I am glad to learn that the difficulties in the fiscal department are yielding to your management of them. Should a war not result from the crisis in Europe which is possible, or our commerce should escape its former rapacities, which may happen, the state of our treasury and our credit will put us out of the reach of domestic intrigue & cupidity.

If Chandler’s claim to double rations be not within the scope of the law, or the precedents interpreting it, it must of course be disallowed: If otherwise it appears to be reasonable, and is strengthened by the opinion of Genl. Dearborn, I am not prepared to judge of the extent, to which the allowance would open a door for like claims; not supported by the same equity. The War Office can place the whole subject before you. Affe. respects

James Madison


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