James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Sullivan, 11 April 1803 (Abstract)

§ From James Sullivan

11 April 1803, Boston. “If I had an idea of what its commonly called the making of interest I should not possess confidence enough in the weight of my own character to attempt it: but in an extensive government, information, as to men qualified for offices must be had through some channel or other.” Encloses a letter signed by men “respectable and friendly to the present administration” and adds that he was in the Massachusetts legislature during the “late revolutionary war” when Ward represented Salem. “I have known him as a magistrate and military officer when much depended on his exertions, and when many who would now gladly take offices were skulking from public danger. He has been an unfortunate man in commerce, which renders the office in question, or any other in that line, necessary to him.” Asks JM to communicate this to the president or serve Ward’s interest in any other way.1

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