James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Alexander J. Dallas, 12 February 1815

From Alexander J. Dallas

12 Feb. 1815.

Mr. Dallas, with his best respects, sends for the President’s perusal, a private letter, relative to the vacant office of District Attorney, for New-York.1

It is of the first importance, that the Attornies should be men of talents; and firmly attached to the Government. There is no office capable of giving a direction, so decisively good, or bad, to the business of the nation, as this office, out of the sphere of the Administration.

Mr. D. knows Mr. Tillotson’s family; and he has seen that Gentleman lately at Washington; but he has no knowledge of his professional talents.

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Tillotson”). For enclosure, see n. 1.

1Dallas enclosed Tillotson’s letter to him of 7 Feb. 1815 (2 pp.), asking that Dallas recommend him as district attorney. Tillotson also requested that Dallas inform him whether or not his application was likely to succeed, since he had been offered a position as adjutant general of the New York militia and would accept it if his chances to be appointed district attorney were slim. He added his hope that Dallas would not carry out his rumored intention to retire as secretary of the Treasury.

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