James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Findley, 17 November 1805 (Abstract)

From William Findley, 17 November 1805 (Abstract)

§ From William Findley.1 17 November 1805. “I herewith enclose a Statement of Otho Shraders character and wishes.2 Since I had the pleasure of Conversing with you I was informed by Mr. Gallatin that he apprehended that a Judges place in Louisiana was or soon would be vacant and enquired if Mr. Shrader could attend without delay if he was appointed to that office.3 He arrived here on Saturday and informed me that he would thankfully accept of that office and attend on very Short notice. He is under the Necessity of making his stay here very Short, you would oblige me by informing yourself on the Subject as soon as you can conveniently. I introduced him and Another Gentleman to the view of the president but without any oppertunity of mentioning the Subject.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Shrader”). RC 1 p. For enclosure, see n. 2.

1William Findley (ca. 1742–1821) came from Ireland to Philadelphia in 1763. He fought in the American Revolution, and after the war moved to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He held several state elective offices before being elected to Congress for four terms, 1791–1799. In 1794 he initially opposed the federal government during the Whiskey Rebellion. He served in the state senate from 1799 to 1802, and again in Congress from 1803 to 1817.

2The enclosure (1 p.; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Louisiana-Missouri, description begins Clarence Carter et al., eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States (28 vols.; Washington, 1934–75). description ends 13:285–86) is Findley’s undated statement that Shrader was a thirty-one-year-old German immigrant who had been in the United States for about ten years. Educated in Europe, Shrader wrote excellent French and correct English. He studied law in Pennsylvania, was admitted to the bar, and served as county prothonotary and register.

3Somerset County, Pennsylvania, resident Otho Shrader (ca. 1774–1811) was named one of the judges in Louisiana Territory in April 1806 and served in that post until his death. He was also the captain of militia cavalry regiments in the St. Charles and St. Genevieve districts (ibid., 452, 14:211, 263, 375, 481–82).

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