James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Joseph Wheaton, 1 July 1820

From Joseph Wheaton

Washington City July 1st. 1820

Illustrious Sir

The enclosed copy of a Statement (correctly made,) is some evidence of the truth of the memorial presented to the House of Representatives United States in N. York when you was a member of it,1 and which with your aid gave me the appointment of Sergeant at Arms to that Honorable Body, with that memorial and the enclosed Statement, and your personal knowledge of me for thirty years past, with much of my exertions in the late war, I am induced to ask the favor of you, of a letter or certificate, of your Sense of my conduct as came within your information during that war, Both in the Black Swamps of ohio the Siege of Fort meigs upon Sandusky and in Virginia.2 I have Children & Grand children am descending the down hill of life, and it would be very gratifying to me, to have Something from you, which they may read and look upon—With the Homage of my Heart I have the honor to be, Illustrious Sir, faithfully, your Obedient Servant

Joseph Wheaton3

RC and enclosure (DLC).

1The enclosure (2 pp.; docketed by JM), is a copy of a deposition addressed to Wheaton from William A. Rind, 24 Apr. 1820, attesting to a conversation Rind had had with Wheaton’s brother in 1815, in which the latter observed that he supposed Wheaton had been a second time disinherited by his father for “fighting against your King and family for the damned Yankee rebels.” Wheaton’s original memorial, addressed to the Senate and dated 6 Apr. 1789, petitioning for government employment, attested to his service in the Continental Army and his personal circumstances (DNA: RG 46, Applications for Jobs, 1A–G1).

2For Wheaton’s detailed reports of his experiences during the War of 1812, see his letters to JM of 10, 23, 29, and 31 Dec. 1812, 3 and 8 Jan., 10, 12, and 26 Feb., 26 Apr., and 1 May 1813 (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 5:496–97, 521, 532–33, 537–38, 549–51, 564–65; 6:9–11, 14–15, 72–73, 241–43, 273–74).

3Joseph Wheaton (d. 1828) was a Revolutionary War veteran from Rhode Island. He was appointed sergeant at arms of the U.S. House of Representatives on 12 May 1789 and served until 1807. In April 1813 he was commissioned a captain and deputy quartermaster general in the U.S. Army, was promoted to major the next year, and served until January 1815 (Abbot et al., Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series, 5:328 n.; Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; 1903; reprint, Baltimore, 1994). description ends , 1:1022–23).

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