James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Brown, 15 January 1805 (Abstract)

§ From James Brown

15 January 1805, New Orleans. “Governor Claiborne has this moment presented me with a Commission from the President of the United States appointing me one of the Judges of the Superior Court for the Territory of Orleans.

“Anxious that the interests of the United States and of the Territory should not suffer by a vacancy in the Office to which the President has honored with an appointment, I hasten to assure you that my situation renders an acceptance of the Office impossible, and to request that my resignation may be accepted.

“Grateful for this second mark of public confidence, I regret the circumstances which deny my time and services to the public.”1

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Brown”). 1 p.; docketed by Jefferson.

1James Brown (1766–1835), the younger brother of Kentucky senator John Brown, resigned his appointments as territorial secretary and superior court judge on the grounds that the salaries were too low. He was later named district attorney for the Orleans Territory, but his close relationship with Edward Livingston led to an estrangement from Claiborne and the Jefferson administration. He represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate, 1812–17 and 1819–23, and in 1823 was named minister to France by President Monroe (Bradley, Interim Appointment, 258–65).

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