James Madison Papers

Thomas Shankland to James Madison, 18 March 1826

Washington March 18. 1826

Honored & venerated Sir,

The reasons which I shall explain, will, I hope excuse me, for the liberty I take of disturbing that repose and tranquility which so peculiarly belong to the illustrious Virtues, which have adorned your life, and consecrated your Name—

My Father whose name I bear, was one of the Electors of President, & voted for you in preference to his near Relative by Marraige the late Gov. DeWitt Clinton of New York—By that Act my Father incurred the displeasure of Gov. Clinton, who never forgave him after—I do not mention this, except as an apology for the request I have to make–flattering myself however that you would feel greater pleasure in acceding to my request—

Several of my Friends in Congress have united in an application to the President of the U. S. to have me appointed Register of a Land office to be established at Milwalky, Wisconsin Territory, and I should feel highly honored with a few lines from your able pen to the President in my behalf—I am poor & have a Family to provide for—My Father was taken Prisoner by the Indians & carried into Captivity in the Revolution, when my Grand Father escaped only to see his property burned & destroyed—Not one of the name have ever enjoyed the profits or emoluments of Office, and situated as I am, you Sir, could essentially serve one, whose Father, now no more, felt a just pride in Contributing his vote & influence to your political Elevation as President of these United States—Should you be pleased to assist a young man, the son of one of your earliest & warmest Friends & will enclose the Letter to the Hon. Martin Van Buren or the Hon’s. Ely Moore, U. F. Doubleday or A. Huntington to whom I am personally & well known you will greatly serve & oblige Your Very obt. & Humble servt.

Thos. Shankland


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