James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Oliver Wolcott, 17 September 1797

To Oliver Wolcott

Virginia, Orange. Sepr. 17. 1797


The death of Major Lindsay1 the Collector at Norfolk requiring a new appointment to be made within your branch of the administration, Mr. Francis Taylor of that place, wishes to present himself to the attention of the Executive; and I am requested to join my voucher to that of others, in his favor. Altho’ related to him by a kindred not very remote, I have the pleasure of a slight personal acquaintance only with him, and consequently must rest my testimony chiefly on the information of respectable persons thro’ whom I derive my knowledge of his character and qualifications. From concurring authorities of this kind I have sufficient ground to believe that Mr. Taylor’s integrity & fidelity are entitled to the fullest confidence, and that his knowledge & habits of business are well adapted to the line of service he aspires to. I understand that he has had the benefit of several years exercise in the Customs under the late Collector.

I am Sir, very respectfully, Your most Obedt. hble servt.

Js. Madison Jr.

RC (DNA: RG 59, Letters of Application and Recommendation, 1797–1801); FC (DLC). RC addressed by JM to Wolcott; docketed by Wolcott. FC marked “(Copy)” by JM; written on verso of JM to Francis Taylor, 17 Sept. 1797.

1William Lindsay, a Revolutionary War veteran and Federalist, had been collector of the port of Norfolk (Prince, Federalists and the Origins of the U.S. Civil Service, p. 107).

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