James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Levi Lincoln, [ca. 2 January] 1811

To Levi Lincoln

[ca. 2 January] 1811

… You will see by the commission which will be forwarded from the Department of State, that I have taken the liberty of nominating you to the Senate as successor to Judge Cushing, notwithstanding your remonstrances against a recall into the national service. I was induced to this step, not only by my personal wishes, but by those of others, between whom and yourself exists all the reciprocal respect that can add weight to them, and particularly by their persuading themselves, that your patriotism would acquiesce in an appointment, however contrary it might be to your previous inclinations. I venture to flatter myself that in this we may not be disappointed; and that, in every event, you will regard the liberty I have taken in imposing the dilemma upon you, with the indulgence due to my motives, and to the great esteem and sincere friendship of which I pray you to accept my renewed assurances.…

Printed extract (Benjamin Thomas Hill, ed., The Diary of Isaiah Thomas, 1805–1828, Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, vols. 9–10 [2 vols.; Worcester, Mass., 1909], 1:43–44 n. 1). Printed extract dated 1811. Conjectural date here based on JM’s 2 Jan. 1811 nomination of Lincoln to the Senate for appointment to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed the appointment the following day (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 , 2:159).

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