James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William Bainbridge, 27 March 1817

From William Bainbridge

Boston 27th. March 1817.

Respected Sir,

Permit me to trouble you with the perusal of the enclos’d copy of a letter,1 I have this day written to the Secretary of the Navy to remove, in case you have decided on my Claim, any unfavorable impressions on your mind, which a knowledge of the circumstances alluded to, in the enclos’d communication may have made. As an Officer of the American Navy I most assuredly have felt the highest respect for the late President of the U. States; and would have been the last to have treated his decisions with disrespect by making an appeal to any other. Permit me Sir, to add, with the sincerity I have always expressed myself towards you, my best wishes for your health & happiness; and to assure you of the sentiments of the unfeign’d respect of Your most Ob: & Humble Servant,

Wm. Bainbridge2

RC and enclosure (DLC). For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure is a copy of William Bainbridge to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield, 27 Mar. 1817 (3 pp.; docketed by JM), acknowledging receipt of Crowninshield’s 21 Mar. letter informing him that President Monroe “had decided against” Bainbridge’s “claim to the Command of the navy yard at Charlestown on the grounds” that his predecessor had “decided adversely to it.” Bainbridge thought that Monroe was mistaken that JM had made a decision on his claim and requested the secretary to revisit the matter with the president. For Bainbridge’s insistence on his right to command the Charlestown Navy Yard, see Linda M. Maloney, The Captain from Connecticut: The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull (Boston, 1986), 274–80.

2William Bainbridge (1774–1833) was a U.S. naval officer who saw service in the Quasi-War, the war against the Barbary states, and the War of 1812.

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