James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James H. Blake, 6 January 1810 (Abstract)

§ From James H. Blake

6 January 1810, Washington. Believes his character has been “much traduced and vilely slandered” to JM and therefore begs him to refer to his testimonials on file in the Department of State.1 Denies he is a “violent Man,” though he admits he had the “misfortune” to be involved in a controversy at Richmond with “one of Jno. Randolphs party.” Refers to the sacrifices he has made to support “the cause of Republicanism” and seeks an appointment, since his profession does not enable him to provide for “the pressing demands of a large family.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Blake”). 4 pp.

1James Heighe Blake (1768–1819) was a physician who had resided in Georgetown after 1789. In 1800 he moved to Virginia where he represented Fairfax County in the House of Delegates from 1804 to 1808. He returned to Washington in 1809 and sought office after experiencing financial difficulties. In the summer of 1811 JM gave Blake a recess appointment as a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia, and later, on 21 Dec. 1813, he nominated him to be a collector of the direct tax. The Senate postponed the appointment, then rejected JM’s next nomination of him, on 11 Apr. 1814, to the position of garrison surgeon’s mate in the District of Columbia. Blake also held the office of mayor of Washington from 1813 to 1817, and in that capacity he was to farewell JM officially from the nation’s capital on 6 Mar. 1817 (Allen C. Clark, “James Heighe Blake, the Third Mayor of the Corporation of Washington [1813–17],” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 24 [1922]: 136–63; 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 , 2:187, 189, 441, 443, 526, 527).

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