James Madison Papers

From James Madison to John Quincy Adams, 6 March 1809

To John Quincy Adams

Monday Mar. 6. 1809

J. Madison presents his compts. to Mr. Adams & asks the favor of a call on him at his house this morning for a few minutes, as he may be passing to the Capitol Hill. As J. M. may happen at the moment to be at the President’s House, it may perhaps be as well for Mr. Adams to take that in his way.1

RC (MHi: Adams Papers). Docketed by Adams, who noted: “Same day—recd.”

1JM nominated Adams to be the U.S. minister to Russia in his 6 Mar. message to the Senate, which was then meeting in a four-day special session. The post at St. Petersburg was created by the establishment of diplomatic relations with Russia but was still vacant because the Senate unanimously rejected William Short in the closing days of Jefferson’s administration (for an insight into Short’s rejection, see Samuel Taggart to John Taylor, 28 Feb. 1809, George H. Haynes, ed., “Letters of Samuel Taggart,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n.s., 33 [1923]: 335). In his memoirs, Adams recalled that JM apologized for the haste involved in his nomination. JM spoke of Short’s rejection but “said he had been informed the objection was not to the mission, but to the man.” The Senate rejected Adams’s nomination on 7 Mar., passing by a 17 to 15 vote a resolution that “it is inexpedient at this time to appoint a Minister from the United States to the Court of Russia.” JM resubmitted the nomination on 26 June (Charles Francis Adams, ed., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams [12 vols.; Philadelphia, 1874–77], 1:544; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:118–20, 126–27).

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