James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Tarleton Bates, 17 July 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Tarleton Bates1

17 July 1804, Pittsburgh. “I have just understood that Matthew Ernest2 is to be removed from the Office of Collector of the port of Detroit and that the probability was that some one there would be appointed. I take the liberty to hope that should you be in conversation on this subject that you would not feel indisposed to mention the name of Frederick Bates.3 I do not ask that you should recommend him, nor desire it, because I know you are not acquainted with him. I believe he is a little known to some part of the administration, and this letter is written without his knowledge.

“We had much bickering and heartburning here on the score of our post Master. It was finally carried by plurality of voices, and all signed the recommendation. The mail stage is in operation.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Bates”). 1 p.; docketed by Jefferson.

1Tarleton Bates (ca. 1775–1806) moved from Goochland County, Virginia, to Pittsburgh, where he became prothonotary of Allegheny County and co-owner of a newspaper. A leading figure in the political life of the city, Bates was killed in a duel on 8 Jan. 1806 (Thomas M. Marshall, The Life and Papers of Frederick Bates [2 vols., 1926; reprint, 2 vols. in 1, New York, 1975], 1:3, 5; Higginbotham, Keystone in the Democratic Arch, 117).

2Mathew Ernest was collector at Detroit from 1800 to 1805, when he was “removed for delinquency” (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 1:332, 333; Albert Gallatin to Jefferson, 25 Nov. 1806, in Adams, Writings of Gallatin, 1:321–24).

3Frederick Bates (1777–1825), younger brother of Tarleton Bates, was appointed secretary of the Louisiana Territory in 1807 (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (5 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 2:81 n. 1; Marshall, Life and Papers of Frederick Bates, 1:3).

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