James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Fierer, 26 January 1794

From Charles Fierer

Dumfries Jany. 26th 1794

Hond. Sir

The many civilities I have received from you, Sir, on a former occasion, induces me to solicit your patronage to a petition which the Honble. Richard B. Lee will lay before the Honble. House of which you are a member. I will not take up your time with a detail of the particulars of my case, as the petition and the vouchers attending the same will explain my situation. I will only observe, that having had the misfortune lately to break a leg, which by being injured in the service of this Country during the late war, has made me a Cripple.

Should I be fortunate enough, to obtain in you, Sir, a friend to espouse my cause, my gratitude would be as lasting, as my present situation is distressing. I have the honour to be with Sentiments of perfect respect Hond. Sir, Your most Obt. & very humble Servant

Charles Fierer1

RC (NN).

1Charles Fierer (originally Führer) (d. 1794) came to America in 1776 as a Hessian ensign. He defected, accepted a commission in the Continental line, and later served as captain of a Virginia cavalry troop. Injured in a fall from his horse in 1781, he returned to Germany to find himself declared a traitor and his estate confiscated. He published the Georgetown Times, and Patowmack Packet (the first newspaper in the federal district), 1789–91, and the Dumfries Va. Gazette, and Agricultural Repository, 1791–93. On 11 Dec. 1793 the Virginia General Assembly passed an act directing the auditor of the public accounts to issue Fierer “certificates for the balance of pay and depreciation” due for his state service. On 3 Dec. 1794 the House of Representatives passed a resolution that instructed the Standing Committee of Claims to report a bill placing Fierer on the pension list and allowing him half pay at captain’s rank, but six days later he died after a long illness (Alice H. Lerch, “A Printer Soldier of Fortune,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 30 [1936]: 92–99; JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Richmond. Volumes in this series are designated by the month in which the session began. description ends , Oct. 1793, pp. 15–16; Shepherd, Statutes description begins Samuel Shepherd, ed., The Statutes at Large of Virginia, from October Session 1792, to December Session 1806 … (new ser.; 3 vols.; Richmond, 1835–36). description ends , 1:282; Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 3d Cong., 2d sess., 955).

Index Entries