James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Joseph Nourse, 16 April 1823

From Joseph Nourse

City of Washington 16 April 1823

dear Sir,

I have examined the items of Account presented by Anthony Morris1 Esq under the head of Contingent Expenses incident to his Mission or Agency to Spain; which, having been of a confidential character, no precedents literally applicable are I understand to be found at the Treasury; but they are all such as are usual in Agencies requiring similar duties to those enjoined on Mr Morris, and are such as he certainly paid. I think all the circumstances of his Agency, with these considerations, give him a very equitable claim to the allowances therein noted in addition to the regular Salary (which perhaps might with great propriety have been encreased; in a proportion as the Agency in its importance, from his residence at Madrid, encreased his usefulness and Character as the Representative of the United States, for a considerable eventful period when he was the sole admitted Agent; this, is however mentioned with great submission, and as an additional argument in favor of the admission of the Account of Contingencies above referred to in addition to his Salary;) but as the Agency was confidential—was conferred Sir, by yourself, and completed during your Presidency, it was thought proper that the Contingent Expenses of it should be presented for your consideration. I have the honor to be Sir with great respect Your most obedt hum: Servt

Joseph Nourse2

RC (DLC); Tr (ViFreJM). RC docketed by JM. Tr in Anthony Morris’s hand.

1Anthony Morris (1766–1860), a longtime friend of Dolley Madison, was a Philadelphia lawyer, merchant, and state politician. In 1813 JM gave him a position as confidential agent at Cádiz, Spain (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 5:52 nn. 1–2). For the object of Morris’s mission, see ibid., 6:293 n. 1.

2Joseph Nourse (1754–1841) was born in London and immigrated to Virginia in 1769. He served in the Continental Army as military secretary to Gen. Charles Lee, 1776–77, and as clerk and paymaster of the Board of War, 1777–81. That year he became register of the U.S. Treasury, a post to which he was reappointed in 1789 and which he held until his removal by President Andrew Jackson in 1829 (Leonard D. White, The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History, 1789–1801 [New York, 1948], 309; Leonard D. White, The Jeffersonians: A Study in Administrative History, 1801–1829 [New York, 1956], 371; Van Horne, Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 2:472 n. 3).

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