James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Alexander J. Dallas, 13 April 1815

From Alexander J. Dallas

13 April 1815.

Dr. Sir.

The result of the conference of the Heads of Department on Genl. Jackson’s case, will be seen in the inclosed draft of a letter to the General, which is submitted to your consideration.1 Be so good as to return it with your instructions to alter it, or to send it in its present shape. There is no other copy of the letter. The fact of the release of Judge Hall and Mr. Dick is stated in a second communication from the latter to Mr. Monroe.2

There are no accounts from Generals Macomb, Brown, Jackson or Gaine[s], further than I have already mentioned. General Ripley arrived this afternoon, but I have not seen him. It is said from several quarters, that he would prefer a civil appointment to a continuance in the Army; but the information seems to proceed originally from interested parties. I can easily ascertain it from himself.

The inclosed recommendation from Genl. Scott to brevet Captains Pentland and Smith is submitted to your decision.3 These recommendations will probably so multiply, as to deprive the Brevet of its complimentary character. I am, Dr Sir, most faithfully, Yr. obed Sert

A. J. Dallas

RC (CSmH).

1The enclosed draft has not been found. Dallas’s letter to Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, dated 12 Apr. 1815 (DLC: Andrew Jackson Papers; printed in Smith et al., Papers of Andrew Jackson, 3:344–46), summarized the reports of Jackson’s conduct that had reached the administration via William C. C. Claiborne to JM, 24 Feb. 1815, John Dick to JM, 10 Mar. 1815, and Claiborne to Monroe, 10 Mar. 1815 (see Dick to JM, 10 Mar. 1815, n. 3). Although these communications appeared to show, Dallas wrote, that “the Judicial power of the United States has been resisted, the liberty of the press has been suspended, and the Consul and subjects of a friendly Government have been exposed to great inconvenience, by an exercise of Military force and command,” JM would refrain from passing judgment on the matter until he received Jackson’s report, which Dallas requested be sent “with all possible dispatch.”

2On 13 Mar. 1815 Dick informed Monroe that he and district judge Dominick Hall had been released the previous day (DNA: RG 107, LRUS, D-1815).

3The enclosure was Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott to Dallas, 13 Apr. 1815 (3 pp.; DNA: RG 107, LRRS, S-288:8). Captains John Pentland and Gerard D. Smith were breveted majors, effective 25 July 1814, for distinguished service (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; 1903; reprint, Baltimore, 1994). description ends , 1:783, 898).

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