James Madison Papers

James Cornick to James Madison, 27 January 1832

Norfolk January the 27th 1832

Dear Sir,

I take the liberty of making a few enquires of you relative to a claim it is believed our family have for the revolutionary services of my father Lemuel Cornick, who from all the information to be gathered upon that subject, was one of those active partisans who got on board the French fleet off Cape Henry, near his residence and Piloted them into and up the Cheasapeak and from that place to Rode Island and was on board the Admiral ship, and to be entitled to the Rank and pay of a Lieutenant of the Navy during the war; that he actively served his Country during that glorious struggle, could a few years ago have been established beyond a doubt, but death has removed all the persons who were acquainted with the facts; and that my father made claim for his services (which possibly would not have been done had he not suffered so severely in pecuniary affairs) through some person after peace, in whose hands he placed all his papers, and from the best information to be gathered believed to be yourself, while a practitioner of the Law, and that you may now have those papers amongst your great mass of Old papers, or if you can in any way through some light upon the subject, you will Sir much oblige one who would not think of troubling you with such business if to be got from any other source; if Sir my Old friend Jas. Murry Esqr. is with you, as I have heard he was, he possibly can throw some light upon the subject, as I have frequently heard him say he was the Linguister on board, and to whom I am well acquainted while in the Liverpool trade for many years, and lately in command of the Ships Jefferson, and Madison belonging to this place and Petersburg and now at this place, where I beg you will please direct to me.

I must now beg to assure you it is with great reluctance I make this enquiry, for fear of giving trouble in your advanced age and retirement. I conclude by joining with the mass of my Countrymen, particularly of this my native State for your health and happiness is respectfully the prayer of your Most Obd. & Humble Servant

James Cornick


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