James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Winthrop Sargent, 16 June 1801

To Winthrop Sargent

Department of State Washington
16th. June 1801


In adverting to the law constituting the government of the Mississippi territory, it appears that the Secretary thereof is authorised to discharge the Executive duties in no other cases than those of the death, removal, resignation, or necessary absence of the Governor. It follows that since the expiration of your term on the 7th. of May, no provision exists for the emergency, and that it is become the duty of the President to supply the vacancy with as little delay as possible. The various, and some of them delicate considerations, which at present mingle themselves with the designation of the individual for this purpose, have rendered it expedient, in the judgment of the President, that the station should be filled by another than yourself whose administration with whatever meritorious intentions conducted has not been so fortunate as to secure the general harmony and the mutual attachment between the people and the public functionaries so particularly necessary for the prosperity and happiness of an infant establishment.1

In communicating this determination, I have the pleasure to be authorised by the President to add, that he wishes it to be understood, as not conveying any definitive opinion whatever with respect to your official or personal conduct, which might wound your feelings, or throw a blot on your character. With great respect & esteem I have the honor [to] be, Sir, your most Obedient servant

James Madison

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