James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Richard Forrest, 25 July 1809

From Richard Forrest

City of Washington July 25th. 1809

Dear Sir,

The enclosed letter contains an acknowledgment of the remittance made to Jacob Adams for the wine imported in his Ship from Madeira, which it is right you should have. I have recd a similar one from Mr. Gelston for 146 dollars, which I am unable to send by the present Mail, having left it at home this Morn’g.

The News from England has astonished every person I have heard speak on the subject. The attack on the Chesapeake did not produce half so violent a sensation.

If Mr. Jackson (whose arrival may be hourly expected) be equal to the portrait drawn of him by Mr. King,1 he must be the very ditto of Canning’s self.

The death of Judge Ducket2 has left a vacancy on the bench of this District. I have heard several spoken of as suitable to succeed him. Among them, Francis Digges, of Chs. County, Alexander Scott of George Town, Archd. Van Horn, & Wm. Sprigg of Prince Georges County. I know them all well. Digges was regularly educated to the Bar, was Prosecutor for several years in Charles, St. Marys & Calvert Counties, has served in the Legislature of Maryland, and for several years a Member of the Governors Council. Scott and Van Horn are both respectable; but certainly inferior to the former. I remain with the highest re[s]pect Your very humble Sert

Richd. Forrest.3

Be pleased to present my best respects to Mrs. Madison, & Mrs. & Mr Cutts.

RC (NN). Enclosure not found.

1Rufus King was U.S. minister to Great Britain, 1796–1803. Early in 1801 he persuaded the British government to appoint Anthony Merry as minister to the U.S. rather than Francis James Jackson. King recalled that Jackson was “distinguished for an ample share of those prejudices which his countrymen in general take so little pains to conceal, and which are so disadvantageous to them abroad” (King to Timothy Pickering, 25 Dec. 1809, Charles R. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King [6 vols.; New York, 1894–1900], 5:177).

2Allen Bowie Duckett, an assistant judge of the District of Columbia circuit court, died 19 July (National Intelligencer, 26 July 1809).

3Forrest was a State Department clerk and former postmaster of Georgetown. JM’s failure to remove Forrest, a Federalist, from his minor post in 1809 rankled at least one Republican stalwart (Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 35–36 [1935]: 262; Cunningham, The Process of Government under Jefferson, p. 178).

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