James Madison Papers

To James Madison from DeWitt Clinton, 30 September 1805 (Abstract)

From DeWitt Clinton, 30 September 1805 (Abstract)

§ From DeWitt Clinton. 30 September 1805, New York. “Capt. Alexr. Coffin1 of the Ship Penman of this Port has some business with your department of great importance to himself & connexions. I beg leave to recommend him to your patronage as highly worthy of it.”

RC (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 180, Great Britain, Treaty of 1794 [Art. VII], British Spoliations, ca. 1794–1824, Unsorted Papers, box 5, folder P & Q).

1Nantucket native Alexander Coffin Jr. (1764–1836) was the son of one of the founders of Hudson, New York. He was educated in England and served as a midshipman during the American Revolution until he was captured and confined to prison ships in New York harbor. In 1804 and 1805 he commanded the Penman on a voyage to the Persian Gulf, but the ship and cargo were seized by the British and condemned. During the War of 1812 he was captured while sailing to France and confined to Dartmoor prison. In 1814 he published two volumes of poetry dealing with the American attack on Quebec and the Battle of Bunker Hill. For a time he was a merchant in New York City and from 1815 to 1824 agent of the state prison. In 1829 he was named an inspector of customs, a position he held until his death (Robert Barry Coffin, “The Coffin Family: The Hudson Branch,” American Historical Record 2 [1873]: 65–67).

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