James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Alexander J. Dallas, 22 May 1815

From Alexander J. Dallas

22d. May 1815

Dr. Sir.

I have received the inclosed letters from Genl. Jackson and General Gaines.1 The former does not appear to have received any of our letters; and the latter has only received the letter, inviting him to Washington, or his answers have miscarried.

There is a remarkable coincidence between Genl. Gaine’s, reccommendatory list, and the selections made here; and Lieut. Spotts, who is strongly reccommended by Genl. Jackson, and for whom I ask a brevet, says that the Army Register will give the highest satisfaction to the South. As the National Intelligencer of today contains the whole of the military budget, we shall soon ascertain the feelings of the Officers, and the Printers, upon the occasion.

I send a letter from Genl. Dearborn, inclosing Col. Starke’s official report of the surrender of Castine.2 When you return this communication, I will send a copy of it to the Department of State, that Mr. Monroe may be able to meet Mr. Baker’s claim with a knowledge of the facts. I am, Dr Sir, most respectfully & faithfully Yrs.

A. J. Dallas

RC (CSmH). For enclosures, see nn.

1The enclosed letter from Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson has not been found. Dallas enclosed Brig. Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines’s 25 Apr. 1815 letter to him from New Orleans (3 pp.; DNA: RG 107, LRUS, G-1815), stating that the War Department’s letter asking him to come to Washington had arrived too late for him to travel there by 1 May. He enclosed, however, a list of officers whom he recommended for retention in the peacetime army (8 pp.; ibid.). He planned to be in Knoxville, Tennessee, by the end of June, and asked to receive orders there.

2Dallas enclosed Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn’s 15 May 1815 letter to him (2 pp.; DNA: RG 107, LRRS, D-121), observing that “a question is left open for discussion” regarding British retention, after the evacuation of Castine, of ordnance and stores captured by them at Machias. Dearborn speculated as to why the British considered this justified, and said that they had referred the matter to Anthony St. John Baker. He enclosed a copy of Lt. Col. Horatio Stark’s 29 Apr. 1815 letter to Brig. Gen. John Chandler reporting the evacuation of Castine (1 p.; ibid.), along with a copy of a 25 Apr. 1815 letter to Stark from the British commander formerly at Castine, Maj. Gen. Gerard Gosselin (2 pp.; ibid.), stating that he would inform Baker that Stark had “no objection” to Gosselin’s retaining the ordnance and stores in question until a decision was made on the matter.

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