James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Peale Polk, 10 [October] 1800

From Charles Peale Polk

Frederick Town 10th. [October] 1800.

Dear Sir,

I was honor’d with your Letter of Augt. 5th.1 at which time much uncertainty rested on the state of political affairs in Maryland. I have now the pleasure of communicating to you that the People of our State will exercsise the right of suffrage in the Choice of Electors in Districts.2 Altho I cannot give an Official statement of the different polls throughout the State, yet I can Assure you that the Republicans have a majority in the Lower House.

I have also the pleasure to add that, from the best information I have recieved on the subject, Mr. Jefferson will most probably have 7 Votes from this state. By the News Paper of our Town,3 which accompanies this Letter, you will see the astonishing increase of Republicans in Our County. With Sentiments of the highest esteem and respect, I am, Dear Sir, your Obd Hue Servt.

Charles P. Polk

RC (DLC). Conjectural date supplied on the basis of the Maryland legislative elections in October 1800 (see n. 2).

1Letter not found.

2Maryland Federalists wished to change the method of selecting presidential electors from a district system to one in which the electors were chosen by the legislature. The latter method would ensure a monopoly of electoral votes to the party that controlled the legislature. Republican gains in the October elections for the House of Delegates meant that the district system of election would be retained (L. Marx Renzulli, Jr., Maryland: The Federalist Years [Rutherford, N.J., 1973], pp. 213–19).

3Polk’s reference could be to either of two Frederick, Maryland, weekly newspapers: the Rights of Man, which ceased publication in November 1800, or Bartgis’s Republican Gazette, which sometime in 1800 saw the political handwriting on the wall and changed its name from Bartgis’s Federal Gazette (Brigham, History of American Newspapers, 1:258–59, 266).

Index Entries