James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Caesar A. Rodney, 26 September 1810

From Caesar A. Rodney

Wilmington Sept 26. 1810.

My Dear Sir,

The enclosed letter, from Captain R. C. Dale was received the day before yesterday.1 The resignation he speaks of, if I recollect, was put into the hands of some officer of the U. S. army, & when I spoke to the Secretary at war, had not reached the office. His answer was that it should be accepted when received. Mr. Dale has been selected as the Democratic candidate for congress, & with a prospect I hope of success.2 Should this county give 2.800 votes my confidence will be considerable in the result of the state election, as the two Federal counties are divided in some degree; & I should not be surprized if the Republicans succeeded in Kent. Our State election would have been secure, had they not healed the great division in Sussex, by taking up my relation Daniel Rodney as their candidate for Governor.3 This situation he has been long desirous to obtain, and would have deserted his old friends with a numerous force, had they not gratified his wishes, which I flattered myself they would not have done. The methodists will finally revolutionise this state. Religion alone is equal to the task of thorough reform.

After a severe & long attack of bilious fever in the early part of summer, a person is generally an invalid until frost. With respect to myself, it has been unfortunately the case this season. And in a very infirm state of health I have been afflicted with the loss of my eldest & my favourite son in his fourteenth year. From these scenes of personal calamity I turn my eyes to the more charming prospects of public prosperity which the late news presents. France has at len[g]th yielded to the dictates of justice & interest combined. May England soon follow in her wake. Yours Truly & Affectionately

C. A. Rodney

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1In a letter of 22 Sept. 1810 addressed to JM, Dale complained that he had not received “a final & official discharge” from the U.S. Army after resigning his commission from the camp at Terre aux Boeufs. He requested JM to notify him that his resignation was accepted to take effect on 30 Sept. 1810. At the end of the letter JM wrote: “Capt. Dale has been informed, that the rec[e]ipt & acceptance of his resignation will be noted in the War office, as of the date requested” (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, D-75:5; docketed by a War Department clerk as received 4 Oct. 1810).

2Dale lost the election for the Delaware seat in the House of Representatives to Federalist Henry M. Ridgely by seventeen votes (National Intelligencer, 10 Oct. 1810).

3Republican Joseph Haslet defeated Daniel Rodney by seventy-one votes in the Delaware gubernatorial election (ibid.).

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