From John Dawson
Fredericksburg Nov: 16. 1809
The unfortunate death of Go: Lewis leaves that office vacant. I have some thoughts of accepting the appointment shoud I be calld to it, altho I shoud wish to see you before it is made.
No person knows better than yourself how far I am capable of discharging the duties and what my claims on the public are. With sincere regard Your friend
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Dawson”).
1. John Dawson (1762–1814), a Harvard graduate, began corresponding with JM in 1785. He represented Spotsylvania County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1786–89, and in the 1788 ratifying convention, where he was an Antifederalist. A delegate to the Continental Congress, 1788–89, he was elected as a Republican to the seat in the House of Representatives that JM vacated in 1797, and he served until his death (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1-10, Chicago, 1962-77, vols. 11-17, Charlottesville, Va., 1977-91). description ends , 7:199 n. 17).