James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Charles Carroll, 4 April 1817

To Charles Carroll

Washington April 4. 1817

Dear Sir

Yours on the subject of Mr. Brewer was duly received,1 and would alone have been a sufficient evidence of his worth. It would have been very agreeable, if it could have been rewarded by such an appointment as he wished, consistently with the pretensions of others, & with the collateral considerations which necessarily turn the scale, where there may be an equilibrium of qualifications. Had the appointments come on, whilst the nomination lay with me, these considerations, would have been difficulties with me as they were with my successor, notwithstanding the respect and good will of both towards Mr. B.

The great hurry I have been in since the commencement of my preparations for a final departure from Washington, as well as before, has prevented my dropping you sooner this explanation. The day after tomorrow I shall be on the road to my farm, where I shall be a fixture for the residue of my days. I know well the uncertainty incident to our hopes and calculations; but I have the consolation, that if the enjoyments I anticipate should not be fully realized, they will be at least a welcome exchange for the arduous and anxious responsibilities, from which I shall be released. Whatever may ensue, I wish you to be assured that I shall retain for you my friendly recollections & regards,2 and best wishes for a continuance of your health and happiness; in all which Mrs. M. cordially unites.

James Madison

RC (owned by Elmer E. Robinson, San Francisco, Calif., 1961). Docketed by Carroll as received 6 Apr.

1Carroll wrote JM on 15 Jan. 1817 (DLC) a letter of application and recommendation for John Brewer (d. 1827), register of the land office of Maryland and clerk of the Maryland House of Delegates. Brewer himself wrote JM on 12 Feb. 1817 (DLC) to request JM’s consideration for an office in the western territories (Robert Barnes, comp., Marriages and Deaths from the Maryland Gazette, 1727–1839 [Baltimore, 1976], 17).

2Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832) was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and educated in France and England. He returned to America in 1765 to manage a vast estate given to him by his father. He became a prominent leader in the American Revolution, signing the Declaration of Independence and serving in the Continental Congress, 1776–78. A lifelong Federalist, Carroll supported the U.S. Constitution, represented Maryland in the U.S. Senate, 1789–92, and opposed the War of 1812.

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