James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Rittenhouse, 10 July 1789

From David Rittenhouse

Philadelphia July 10th. 1789

Dr Sir

Engaged as you are in business of the greatest importance as well as difficulty, and harrass’d by a thousand importunate applications, I am fully sensible of the impropriety of troubling any of my friends in Your situation, even with a letter, unless I had either some useful information or matter of amusement to communicate. Permit me nevertheless, by this method, to recommend to your notice the bearer, Mr. William Barton, with whom I have been intimately acquainted from his infancy.1 His Education his abilities, and still more his principles and integrity, render him a worthy member of Society, and promise to make him more conspicuously useful. Any attention shewn to him will be acknowledged as a particular favour conferred on, Dr. Sir, Your sincere friend & Very humble Servant

Davd. Rittenhouse

RC (DLC: Washington Papers); Tr (PHarH), misdated 18 July 1789.

1Rittenhouse’s nephew, William Barton (1754–1817), declined an appointment as one of the judges of the Northwest Territory. He later solicited JM’s support for a treasury post (Hindle, David Rittenhouse, pp. 196–97, 304; DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America (3 vols. to date; Baltimore, 1972—). description ends , II, 27, 28; Barton to JM, 26 Aug. 1789).

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