James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to William Eustis, 15 September 1811

To William Eustis

Sepr. 15. 1811

Dear Sir

I have recd. yours of the 11th. inclosing a letter from Mr. Jones acting as Judge Advocate at Frederick Town. As the case of Genl. Wilkinson is in possession of the Court Martial, who will judge of the extent of their own jurisdiction, as well as decide on the merits of the questions within it, no instructions seem to be requisite, in the present stage of the proceeding; unless it be in reference to the event of refusing cognizance of a part of the charges; and in that event, I see no sufficient ground on which the residue of the charges could be withdrawn. If those, not transferred by the H. of R. to the Ex. had been witheld, that distinction might have accounted for such a course; but it cannot well be applied to the withdrawal of the charges. When the result of the trial presents itself, we must take up whatever questions may grow out of it, and fall within Executive competency.

I return the letter of Sibley,1 and the proposal in favor of Dr. Thos. J. C. Monroe,2 with the usual note of approbation. Accept my esteem & best wishes

James Madison

RC (PHi: Daniel Parker Papers).

1JM had evidently read a 17 July 1811 letter from John Sibley, the Indian agent at Natchitoches, to Eustis, describing the organization of armed bands in the so-called neutral ground between the Río Honda and the Sabine following an incident in which some American “brigands” had robbed a party of Spaniards. Sibley’s concern, however, was that the ultimate purpose of the armed parties was to intervene in the Mexican revolution. He also reported “another Collection of Bad men & some Women,” whom he described as escapees from American jails, who had established a settlement at Pacan Point on the Red River, much to the annoyance of the Caddo Indians. The Indians were demanding the removal of the community, but this, Sibley predicted, would be difficult as it was growing rapidly in size, in part because its members were enticing slaves to abandon their masters (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, S-436:5; docketed as received on 11 Sept. 1811 and bearing Eustis’s notation to the effect that the contents had been confirmed by the commanding officer at Natchitoches and that reinforcements had been sent there).

2On 20 Nov. 1811 JM nominated Thomas J. C. Monroe of Ohio as a surgeon’s mate in the Sixth Infantry Regiment (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:191).

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