James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Taylor, 12 March 1813 (Abstract)

§ From John Taylor

12 March 1813, New York. “The Petition of John Taylor of the City of New York Grocer.1 Respectfully Sheweth

“That your Petitioner is a Native of Ireland, but has been long Settled as a resident in New York.

“That your Petitioner having determined to become a Citizen of the United States, announced Such his intention & took the Oath declaring the Same as appears by the certificate hereunto annexed.2

“That if War had not been declared between the United States and Great Britain your Petitioner would have become duly Naturalized in the month of August last—an event—which has only been prevented by the existence of hostilities.

“That your Petitioner is Sincerely Attached to the Constitution, Government and interests of the United States—and that it will be extremely injurious to him if he should be compelled to break up his business and quit the City of New York which he has been required to do by the Marshall of this District.

“That your Petitioner is also in a bad State of health and apprehends it would be very dangerous to him to remove from the City to the Country at the present Season; for the truth of which he begs leave to refer to the annexed Certificate of Doctor Seaman.3 Your Petitioner therefore respectfully prays a special permission from the Secretary of State, authorising him to remain & transact his business as Usual in the City of New York.”4

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 45, Subject File RN, box 599, Correspondence Relating to Aliens, Enemy and Neutral). RC 2 pp. For enclosures, see nn. 2 and 3.

1The 1812 New York directory lists two John Taylors as grocers, one at 174 Division and one at 103 Greenwich (Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory [Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 25877], 306).

2Taylor enclosed a copy of his 24 Aug. 1807 affidavit of intention to become a U.S. citizen (1 p.), filed in the Mayor’s Court of New York, below which was written a 24 Feb. 1813 statement by the clerk of the court certifying the accuracy of the copy.

3The enclosed 5 Mar. 1813 statement (1 p.), signed by V. Seaman, M.D., stated that Taylor had suffered from “an Affection of the Lungs, Spitting of Blood &a.,” and that although his health had improved, “it would not be proper or prudent for him to leave the City untill the weather becomes more moderate.”

4Thomas Addis Emmet appended a note, dated 12 Mar. 1813, which reads: “I certify that I have Known Mr. John Taylor for some years as a settled Resident in NewYork; and that I believe him attached to the Constitution, Government and Interests of the United States—and that he may with safety & propriety be permitted to remain & carry on his business in the City of NewYork.” Emmet was a native of Ireland who emigrated to New York in 1804 and soon after began a successful law practice there. A member of the Republican Party, he served a short term as attorney general of New York beginning in 1812 (Thomas Addis Emmet, Memoir of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet [2 vols.; New York, 1915], 1:391, 395, 403–4, 410, 424).

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