James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Richard Rush, 21 September 1815

From Richard Rush

Washington September 21. 1815.

Dear sir.

I have complied with the requests contained in your letter of the 17th. instant. To Mr Dick I wrote yesterday. As regards the French letter from Rhode Island, the former one, to which it refers, does not appear to be in either of the departments mentioned. I have, however, enclosed the one you transmitted, to Mr Dallas, with some further though slight explanation of the transaction derived from the treasury department.

I received a week ago a communication from Mr Dick which I have thought it might be well enough for you to see; and lest you should not, at the instant, have on your mind my letter to him to which it is a reply, I send a copy of it; and also of the terms in which I have acknowledged his.1

Young Mr Smith in a letter to me, which I have deposited in the department of state, accepts the secretaryship to the legation at London.2 That you may see the terms in which it was offered, I enclose a copy of my letter to his father, to whom I wrote upon the occasion.3 I beg leave to offer my faithful respects.

R. Rush.

RC (PHi: Richard Rush Papers). Docketed by JM. For surviving enclosures, see nn. 1 and 3.

1In the enclosed letter from New Orleans district attorney John Dick to Rush, 19 Aug. 1815 (18 pp.; DNA: RG 59, ML), Dick acknowledged receipt of Rush’s 17 July 1815 letter to him (not found). He then proceeded to defend himself against the accusation, which he believed to have been contained in José Álvarez de Toledo’s ca. June 1815 memorandum to JM, that he had delayed Toledo’s trial on charges of fitting out the ship Eagle to cruise against Spain. He added that Toledo was obviously unqualified for the rank that he claimed as general in the Mexican insurgent army, and that it was generally believed that the revolutionary congress had withdrawn his credentials. “To sum up,” Dick wrote, “General Toledo … has neither capacity to plan nor ability to execute; he is incapable of discovering Expedients for Each Exigency, or of providing remedies for each disorder; he can have neither dexterity in his means, nor flexibility in varying his measures, without altering his designs: he wants energy, he wants the means of inspiring confidence, and, what is worse, I fear he wants integrity.” Rush’s reply to this letter has not been found.

2John Adams Smith to Rush, 15 Sept. 1815 (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Smith”).

3The enclosed copy of Rush’s 11 Sept. 1815 letter to William Stephens Smith (2 pp.; DNA: RG 59, ML) restated JM’s comments in his 8 Sept. 1815 letter to Rush regarding the younger Smith’s appointment, and requested that the father inform the State Department of his son’s decision.

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