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To James Madison from James Taylor, 14 September 1811

From James Taylor

New Port Kentucky Sept 14th. 1811.

My Dear sir

I am informed that application will be made to you in favor of a Mr.  1 Sloo for an appointment as Indian Agent.2 He informs me that he was in the revolutionary army from nearly the beginning to the close in the quarter Master department, & that his father was an officer during I think the whole War. I have known Mr. Sloo for a number of years slightly but not well enough to speak of my own Knowledge as to his merit. He informs me Mr. Morrow, Doct Campbell & Mr Worthington3 will advocate his pretentions & some others. I am of opinion his capacity is good, for he appears to be a Man of business and I have understood he is so. I know it is unpleasant to have so many applications for office & I endeavor to get clear of it as much as possible, I must therefore refer you to the Gent before mentiond for a better account of his pretentions to office.

I Presume you are informed that some examination has been caused by the Secy of the Treasury into the official conduct of Genl. Jas. Findlay receiver of Public Monies for the district of Cincinnati.4 I think the report by Mr McLean (the agent)5 will be highly honorable to the Genl. It has been delayed owing to the absence of some of the Witnesses. I was one who was examined by the directions of the Secy.

I have this day done my self the honor to write to Mrs. M. which I have taken the liberty of enclosing. With the greatest respect & esteem I have the honor to be Dr sir Your friend & servt

James Taylor

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, T-180:5). Readdressed by JM to the secretary of war at Washington. Docketed by a War Department clerk as received 1 Oct. 1811.

1Left blank by Taylor.

2No such application has been found, but on 16 Apr. 1812 JM appointed Thomas Sloo as a commissioner to examine land claims in the Kaskaskia district. In 1814 he appointed him as register of the land office at Shawneetown in the Illinois Territory (Gallatin to Sloo, 16 Apr. 1812, Carter, Territorial Papers, Illinois, 16:211; 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 , 2:531).

3Jeremiah Morrow, Alexander Campbell, and Thomas Worthington made up the Ohio delegation in the Twelfth Congress.

4Gallatin had ordered an examination of the books of the Cincinnati receiver’s office on 10 May 1811. Not only had the public moneys in the hands of previous receivers been defective for reasons of robbery and defalcation, but Gallatin also knew that Findlay had obtained temporary loans in order to meet his payments to the treasury and then had repaid the lenders from public funds. He was unable to account for this situation other than by supposing that the receiver was in the habit of making loans to his friends (Gallatin to James Findlay, 10 May 1811, and Gallatin to John McLean, 10 May 1811, Papers of Gallatin [microfilm ed.], reel 23).

5New Jersey–born John McLean (1785–1861) in 1811 was a lawyer and newspaper editor residing near Cincinnati. He was subsequently elected as a Republican to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (1813–16) and later served as postmaster general in the administrations of both James Monroe and John Quincy Adams (1823–29). From 1829 until his death he was an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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