James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Dawson, 7 December 1805 (Abstract)

From John Dawson, 7 December 1805 (Abstract)

§ From John Dawson. 7 December 1805, Washington. “I inclose a letter [not found] from Mr. Poinsett of South Carolina with whom I am well acquainted and believe him to be a young gentleman of much merit1—if you think proper to comply with his request you will be pleasd to forward your letter to me.”

RC (DLC). 1 p.

1Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779–1851) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and educated in England and Scotland. Except for a visit to the United States in 1804–6, he spent the years from 1801 to 1809 traveling in Europe. In 1810 JM named him special agent to Chile and Río de la Plata where he encouraged movements for independence from Spain. In 1815 he returned to South Carolina and entered politics, serving in the state legislature in 1816–17 and 1818–19. He was a member of Congress from 1821 to 1827, after which he was appointed minister to Mexico. He returned to South Carolina in 1830 and defended the union cause during the nullification controversy. In 1837 he was named secretary of war under Martin Van Buren. He returned to private life in South Carolina in 1841 (Bailey et al., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate, 2:1287–88).

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