James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to William Hull (Abstract), 22 March 1805

§ To William Hull1

22 March 1805, Department of State. “The President of the United States being desirous of availing the public of your Services as Governor of the Territory of Michigan, I have the pleasure to inclose your Commission.”2

RC (MH); letterbook copy of enclosure (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Permanent and Temporary Presidential Commissions). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by JM; docketed by Hull. For enclosure, see n. 2.

1William Hull (1753–1825) was born in Connecticut, where he graduated from Yale and later studied law. After serving in the American Revolution, he practiced law in Newton, Massachusetts, where he was also a judge in the court of common pleas and a state senator. He was governor of Michigan Territory until the War of 1812, when he was made a brigadier general in command of the Army of the Northwest. He is perhaps best known for his surrender of Detroit in August 1812, which led to a court-martial and death sentence. JM commuted the sentence, and Hull was cashiered and spent the rest of his life in Newton (Robert S. Quimby, The U.S. Army in the War of 1812: An Operational and Command Study [2 vols.; East Lansing, Mich., 1997], 1:19–21, 45–46, 48).

2Hull’s 1 Mar. 1805 commission is printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, 10:9–10.

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