James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Isaac Story, 11 January 1802

From Isaac Story

Marblehead Jany. 11. 1802

Respected Sir,

Colo. Johonnot1 of Hampden requested me to write to Mr. Gerry, that he might use his influence with the President for obtaining the office of Collector & Searcher for the District of Penobscot. In compliance with his request I wrote to Mr. Gerry on the Subject, & his answer I enclosed to the President.

Colo. Johonnot’s letter to me I enclose to you for your perusal;2 the last half of which belongs to this subject.

All I shall attempt to say of Colo. Johonnot is, that he is a capable man; but as Genl. Dearborn could be no Stranger to him, I shall refer you to him for his moral character & qualifications. And if Genl. Dearborn feels justified in recommending him, it is well, & I am content. But if he will not recommend him; & the office should still continue vacant, I should esteem it a perticular favor, if it might be confered on me.

I am about leaving the ministry; for I have had the care of 3000 Souls & upwards, & the labors have pressed too hard upon me for some time; & I have desired my people to seek after a new Minister, which they mean to do immediatly, so that I can be disengaged at any time. And should the appointment devolve upon me, I hope the public will find a faithful servant. I do not ask for this office, for the sake of the Emoluments of it, for my circumstances are independant; but I ask for it that I may not be idle; & that I may have an employment, in which I may render service to the Community. Were it necessary, I might procure a request for this appointment, signed by many respectable Characters.

You & I were at College but a little time together, so that you may have but a faint recollection of me; though you may recollect the Commencement, in which I pronounced the Valedictory Oration. If therefore you should render service to an old College-friend, it will be gratefully remembered. I am with sentiments of great Esteem & respect, your most humle: & obedient servant

Isaac Story3

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