James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Dawson, 27 March 1794

From John Dawson

Rich March 27. 94

Dear Sir!

By this mail I enclose to Colo Monroe a paper containing an extract of a letter which I receivd from Norfolk, and which gives an account of the success of our brave & generous allies on the Rhine,1 which I hope may prove true.

That the object of the fiscal gentry is to defeat any thing like a systematic operation of the trade of G. B. & to quiet the public mind I am fully persuaded, & therefore do hope that Sedwicks plan of an army will not succeed.

Shoud it, I take this early opportunity of mentioning to you, that Capn Alexander Quarrier,2 who commands a company of artillery in this place is willing to accept of an appointment, not below a majority.

I feel a particular anxiety that he shoud be gratified. His services during the war entitle him to it. What recommends him most to me is a knowledge of his political princ[i]ples. Altho a Caledonian he is the most zealous republican I know. His activity on every occasion to demonstrate this has renderd him obnoxious to his countrymen in general, & to all those who are in sentiment different from himself. I am fully persuaded that he will make an active & faithful officer, & for these reasons do earnestly solicit any aid you may have it in your power to give him. With Esteem Yr. friend

J Dawson


1Dawson referred to a report that French armies had forced the allies to retreat across the Rhine in December 1793 (Va. Gazette, and Richmond and Manchester Advertiser, 27 Mar. 1794).

2Alexander Quarrier (1746–1827) migrated from Scotland to Philadelphia in 1775 and served as a captain of Pennsylvania troops during the Revolution. Circa 1787 he moved to Richmond, where he was a coachmaker and land speculator. By 1792 he commanded the artillery battery of the city militia. His battery participated in public celebrations of French military victories and probably supported the city militia’s resolutions of 1 Mar. 1794 endorsing JM’s commercial discrimination proposals. He was later in charge of the Public Guard in Richmond (Johnson, Papers of John Marshall, 2:266 n. 2; DAR Patriot Index description begins National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Patriot Index (Washington, 1966). description ends , p. 553; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , 5:555; Philadelphia Dunlap and Claypoole’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 22 Apr. 1795).

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