James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Meriwether Jones, 10 July 1801

From Meriwether Jones

Richmond July 10th. 1801

Dear sir

I have taken the liberty to request your aid in procuring an appointment for one of my particular friends. As he differs from me in political sentiment, I should not make the request; but I know that his influence will not be increased by the appointment.

Doctor John K Read of Norfolk,1 has laid himself out in the Drug line, for supplying every species of medicine chest &c., either for the Marine or the Army. He has been uniformly employed to furnish the Navy and Hospital department in Norfolk; and the surgeons, as well as the commanders of Ships of War, have been pleased, and approved highly of the chests furnished: upon this point, reference may be had to Commodore Truxton & others. If the appointment should be given him, I pledge my honor that he will furnish Medicine &c, on as good terms as they can be had in the United States; and that they are genuine and fresh.

He was formerly employed as Surgeon of the Fort at Norfolk; but he was succeeded by a Gentleman permanently appointed by the Government.

I have nothing to communicate that would be of service to you. The people are very well pleased with the progress of the administration, and I am assured that it will be infinitely more popular than Washingtons. Some few complaints exist at the continuance of certain characters in office, but I believe they will be satisfied with the remedy that the Executive may think proper to apply.

I was pleased to hear from Mr. Monroe that your health increased; mine has been considerably impaired by an obstinate complaint in my Bowels. I am Dr sir with great respect and friendship

M W Jones

I had forgot to mention, that I know you have nothing to do with the department from which the appointment I request will be made. My object in writing to you is simply to procure your assistance, & because I am not acquainted with the Secretary of the Navy.

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