James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Hurt, 4 January 1792

From John Hurt

Colo. Marshalls near Lexington1
Jan 4th. 1792

Dear Sir

The enclosed papers I intended to have copied & sent to the President—but for want of paper, the being much indisposed & not expecting to have another opportunity by whom I should chuse to trust them; I send them to you in the careless manner you find them.

If on a perusal of them you think they contain any thing worth his seeing please to make the proper apology & lay them before him—but if on the contrary you should not think them of any utility, I must request the favor of you to commit them to the fire without shewing them to any other person on earth.2 I beg leave to introduce Capt. Trueman to you as a worthy man & a good Soldier. I am Dear Sir with much respect Your Most humble Servant

John Hurt3

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, State Department, Miscellaneous Letters). Addressed to JM, “To the particular care of Capt. Trueman.” The ten-page enclosure is Hurt’s critical account of General St. Clair’s western expedition.

1Col. Thomas Marshall migrated from Fauquier County to Kentucky and settled in Fayette County after the Revolution.

2Whether JM chose to relay the enclosure to Washington or some other official is uncertain. The only positive section of the report related to the medical section. “The hospital department is under pretty good management—better however than it was the last war, which is the only thing that is so—everything else without exception being worse,” Hurt observed.

3Hurt had served as a chaplain with a Virginia brigade during the Revolution. From 1791 to 1794 he was a regular army chaplain (Heitman, Historical Register U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , I, 559).

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