James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Alexander J. Dallas, 11 July 1815

To Alexander J. Dallas

Washington July 11. 1815

Dear Sir

As the writer of the inclosed letter may possibly call on you, I have thought it proper that you shd. be previously acquainted with its singular contents.1 Mr. Graham mistook my intentions, in touching the subject of communications between you & myself. He will in order to put an end to the business, inform Majr. O.C. definitively, that the vacancy in the Artillery which he seeks will not be immediately filled. One other respectable candidate for it, I recollect, you named, as recommended by General Pinkney; and it is possible that others may be brought into view. There are several vacancies of the same rank in the line, for which there are I believe candidates also already before the Dept. and others may be expected to come forward. It will be time enough to decide on the pretensions of Majr. O.C. after reasonable opportunities are given for estimating the comparative merits of others. We remain without a ray of intelligence from or of our Ministers abroad. Affectionate respects

James Madison

RC (CSmH). Docketed by Dallas.

1The enclosure has not been found but was evidently from Maj. John Michael O’Connor, who would be honorably discharged from the army on 15 July 1815. He had written Dallas on 8 June 1815, requesting to be named to a vacant captaincy in the artillery, with the observations that there would likely be “no rival Candidate for this place” and that “the arrangement … need not be publickly announced ’till the other vacancies are filled.” He also wrote the secretary of war on 10 July 1815, again asking for an artillery captaincy (DNA: RG 94, Letters Received, filed under “O’Connor”). He was appointed a captain in the Fourth Regiment of Infantry on 2 Dec. 1815 (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; 1903; reprint, Baltimore, 1994). description ends , 1:756).

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