James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Abijah Hart, 30 July 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Abijah Hart1

30 July 1804, New York. “About eighteen months past I expressed my wish, through Dr. Mitchill, to obtain a foreign commercial agency from the Executive of the US—since which time I have heard nothing from the Executive on the subject. The distressing irregularities which are now practiced on the west India station, may, possibly, render it expedient to establish an Agency at Gaudaloupe or Martinica or, our necessary naval force in the Mediteranean may render such an establishment necessary at Palermo. If our Executive deems an Agency useful at either place, & should think proper to confide such trust to me; I shall be ambitious to serve my Country & to merit the approbation of my Government.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Hart”). 2 pp.; docketed by Jefferson.

1Abijah Hart (1764–1829) was a Connecticut-born merchant and partner in the firm Hicks, Vanderbilt, and Hart in New York City. The firm failed as a consequence of French spoliations, and Hart’s application for a government post having proved unavailing, he returned to New Britain in 1808 to take up farming (Hart to JM, 29 Nov. 1806, DLC; Alfred Andrews, Genealogical History of Deacon Stephen Hart and His Descendants, 1632–1875 … [Hartford, Conn., 1875], 443–44).

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