James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Nathaniel Fanning, 14 November 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Nathaniel Fanning1

14 November 1804, New York. “Will you have the complaisance to lay the enclosed2 before the President of the United States and oblige an Old Revolutionary Officer; altho’ not personally acquainted with you—yet I have often heard you speak with delight both on the Floor of Congress and on that of the House of Delig⟨ates⟩ of the State of Virginia. Not being accustomed to address the Executive of the U. S. perhaps I have omitted some of the forms on such an occasion. If so, my ignorance must plead my excuse. If it is necessary that a Wafer or a Seal be put to the enclosed may I be permitted to beg the favour of you to see it done.”

RC (DLC). 1 p. Damaged by removal of seal.

1Nathaniel Fanning (1755–1805) was a privateer during the Revolution who served on American and French vessels and was captured several times by the British. He also served under John Paul Jones. Fanning was appointed lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on 5 Dec. 1804 (Edward W. Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900 [New York, 1901], 188).

2Fanning’s 14 Nov. letter, which Jefferson received 19 Nov., was a request for employment (Jefferson’s Epistolary Record, DLC: Jefferson Papers).

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