James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Albert Gallatin, 19 August 1812

From Albert Gallatin

Philada. August 19th 1812

Dear Sir

I was detained by indisposition & bad weather longer than I expected. I have found here your letter of 15th inst., and wish that you may not leave Washington as early as you had contemplated. I go there at this time only to meet with you, & will not reach it before Saturday. It is important that I should know your decision on the subject of the large British importations: I have some not unimportant communications to make; and the present crisis, as it relates to our internal concerns or to England, to War arrangements or to armistice (which I disapprove), appears so much more interesting, every decision the Executive may take so much more important in its consequences, than at any former period, that I am earnestly desirous of meeting you before your decisions & departure take place.

I have heard it suggested here that Callendar Irwine [sic] was made principal Commissary of purchases. This information has afflicted me with respect to the effect of such extraordinary appointmts. on public mind here. From personal considerations it has hurt me to the quick.1 If not completed I wish to be heard on the subject. With sincere respect & attachment Your obedt. Servant

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Docketed by JM.

1Irvine was a close friend of William Duane, publisher of the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, which had printed many articles highly critical of Gallatin (Brant, Madison description begins Irving Brant, James Madison (6 vols.; Indianapolis and New York, 1941–61). description ends , 6:27).

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