James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Alexander Stuart, 20 July 1799

From Alexander Stuart

Lynch[bur]g july 20th. 1799


Having determined to become a candidate for a seat in the Council the ensuing Assembly; I trust you will excuse the liberty I take (who have not the pleasure of personal acquaintance) in thus making known my intentions. Should I be so fortunate as to meet with your patronage on this occasion, flowing from motives well known to your Country it would be extremely flattering to me independent of its influence on the event. I am with sentiments of respect & Esteem your very Hble Svt.

Alexr Stuart1

RC (DLC). Addressed by Stuart to JM at Orange and marked “J Barber Esqr.” Docketed by JM.

1Alexander Stuart (1770–1832) was the son of Maj. Alexander Stuart of Staunton, Virginia, and half-brother of Judge Archibald Stuart, a noted Virginia jurist and one of JM’s correspondents. Trained as a lawyer, Stuart was appointed to the Virginia Privy Council in 1799 and served until his resignation on 18 Mar. 1809 “in consequence of accepting an office under the General Government”—a federal judgeship in the Illinois Territory. He held that post for only a short time, moving to the Missouri Territory in 1810 to practice law. In 1814 JM appointed him a federal judge of the territory; after Missouri’s admission as a state, Stuart assumed the duties of the northern circuit, a position he held until his death (gravestone inscription, Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, Virginia; John Breckinridge to Archibald Stuart, 14 Feb. 1792, WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly. description ends , 2d ser., 5 [1925]: 296; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , 10:48; Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society for the Year 1906, no. 11 [Springfield, 1906], pp. 42–43; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:119, 470).

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