James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Knapp, 29 March 1801

From John Knapp

City Washington March 29th. 1801

Dr sir,

I congratulate you on an event terminating so fortunately for the Republican cause, by the Election of Mr. Jefferson. Permit me to solicit your friendship & support to the attainment of a situation under his Administration, such as my Ability & Integrity will enable me to discharge. I hope there is no assumption of Vanity, when I say, my long services in public life & various Public Offices of which I can produce ample Credentials, entitles me to some attention. It is true my Political Creed held me back under the late Administration, & no Man who dared to express a Republican Idea, could feel the affection of the then Rulers: But thank God, a change is effected, & I may with truth say, the Salvation of our Country depended on that change. I feel satisfied that under the present head of the Nation, those who in the worst of times, uniformly adheared to Principles, calculated to promote the happiness of Man; will not appear in the back ground & their Enemies in front. If necessary I can have the support of Messrs. Giles, Venable & Harrison of your State,1 the Chancellor of Maryland, Judges Duvall & Kilty united to Mr. R Sprigg of this State,2 Messrs. Smilie, Muhlenberg Hiester, Brown, Dallas & Leib of Penna.3 & many others influential Characters in the Union, whose sentiments have ever been in unison with my own. I am aware of the Delicate situation I place you by a requisition of this nature, but the present opening urges me to make every effort to the attainment of an object, so essentially advantagious to the Interest of my family, which I hope the goodness of your heart will pardon. Possibly I may exceed the limits of propriety by this address, but when you reflect on the importance resulting to me from your influence, you will deem it an ample apology for my present intrusion. I have the honor to be with sentiments of the highest esteem & respect Dr Sir Yr. Obt. sert.

John Knapp4

PS. Make my best respects acceptable to Mrs. Madison, in which Mrs. Knapp sincerely joins & accept our united wishes for the health & happiness of you both. God bless you

J K.

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