James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Wilson Cary Nicholas, 3 May 1801

From Wilson Cary Nicholas

Warren May 3d. 1801

Dear Sir

The President once mentioned to me that he expected he shou’d find it necessary to remove the Post master Genl.1 from his office; at that time he spoke of a respectable gent. who he had thought of for that place, this conversation took place early in the winter, I do not know what his determination, may now be, if it shou’d be to make a change in that department, and he wou’d confide it to me I wou’d willingly accept the office. But I wou’d not by any means wish the present incumbent to be removed, or to prevent the office being given to any other person that I might get it.2 I wou’d wish it to be understood fully that it is my sincere desire that my application shou’d at once yield either to personal or public considerations. I know that my being a Virginian is an objection to me.3 I am myself inclined to believe that if it can be done consistantly with the public good that Colo. Habersham ought to be continued, as there are few offices that his State can furnish proper characters to fill, and I know it is the wish of all the States to supply at least their contingent. I beg that you will not mention me for this office unless it shou’d be previously determined to make a new appointment.4 If the office was given to me I shou’d wish the appointment delayed until after the next Session of Congress that our friend Monroe might have an opportunity of taking my place in the Senate, when his term of Service as Govr. expires, if he wishes it. I feel the greatest reluctance at my name being placed on the list of those who are importuning the President for offices5 it wou’d be a most mortifying thing to me that he shou’d suppose for a moment, that I was capable of adding to the embarrassment that I know he must feel about appointments, I must beg then My Dear Sir, if you shou’d think proper to mention my name that you will not let the President know that it was done at my instance. I am Dear Sir with the greatest respect your friend & humble Servt.

Wilson C Nicholas

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