James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Caesar A. Rodney, 20 December 1801

From Caesar A. Rodney

Wilmington Decr. 20th. 1801.

Honored & Dear Sir,

Notwithstanding the Opposers of the Republican Administration have prevailed on our Chancellor (whose age had rendered him an easy prey) to resign, & by that means have obtained the appointment of his successor who will be our present Atty. Genl. N. Ridgely whose place will also be filled by them1 they have contrary to my expectation & that of our friends determined I understand to dispute the election of Governor.

Their object is, & they have the numbers in the legislature to do it, to set aside Col: Hall’s return & establish their candidate Genl. N. Mitchell as the person having a majority of legal votes, as duly elected to the office of Governor.2

Rely on it they had at one period totally abandoned the idea of controverting the election, & the late determination has I am convinced been made with a general veiw & in consequence of advice from other parts.

It is our duty to consult with the government on this subject, to inform them of the course we mean to take & the measures we mean to pursue, which shall be done when fixed on.

I regard it as a spasm in the last agony of the approaching dissolution of their power. But the consequences may be such as we may all deplore.

We must inculcate in every stage of the business prudence & moderation among our Republican bretheren, but at the same time a firmness which would do credit to the band of Leonidas.3 With great esteem & respect I remain Dr. Sir Yours Most Sincerely

C. A. Rodney

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