James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Bailie Warden, 1 May 1809

From David Bailie Warden

Paris, 1 May, 1809.


I had the honor of lately writing to you to congratulate You on your elevation to the Presidency of the United States.1 I now take the liberty of addressing you concerning my situation as Consul, and of praying you to continue me in my present office. My knowledge of some of the most useful modern languages, particularly of French, and the acquaintance I have already made with the authorities of Paris, with bureaux, courts, laws, and the duties of a Consul, encourage me with the hope of being as useful as another could be to my Country, and its Citizens, who have Commercial, or other relations with this City. As I have no profession, nor particular occupation, my whole time, if necessary, will be consecrated to the duties of my employment. I am the more anxious to be continued in my present place, as I am without fortune, have abandoned Medical pursuits, and become a stranger to the duties of the Clerical profession. If, Sir, you are pleased to favor my request, I hope that my integrity and qualifications will, in the course of time, shew that I was worthy of this trust; and my gratitude to you will be as lasting as my existence. I have the honor to be, Sir, with the highest esteem and respect, Your very obedt and very humle Serv

David Bailie Warden2

RC (DLC); letterbook copy (MdHi: Warden Papers). RC marked “Duplicate.” At least three additional copies are available (DNA: RG 59, Letters of Application, 1809–17; DNA: RG 59, Consular Despatches, Paris).

2Warden went to Paris as Minister John Armstrong’s private secretary. Named acting consul and agent for prizes in 1808, Warden sought a permanent appointment. The minister told Jefferson in July 1808 that although his secretary was well educated, Warden was “after all, not well qualified for business.” Nevertheless, Warden’s relations with Armstrong in May 1809 were good, and in 1811 JM gave Warden a permanent appointment (C. Edward Skeen, John Armstrong, Jr., 1758–1843: A Biography [Syracuse, N.Y., 1981], p. 113; 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 , 2:173, 175).

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