James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Armstrong, 6 February 1811

From John Armstrong

New York 6th. feb. 1811.

Dear Sir,

I have but two motives in transmitting to you the enclosed papers: 1st. to prevent you from suffering, as I have done, by a mis-placed confidence; & 2d. to justify myself against the insinuation that I acted, in the case of Mr. W.1 with unreasonable severity. Beyond yourself however I do not wish this evidence to go, because I do not desire to take from him that degree of character which may be necessary to the successful persuit of some private calling.2 I am, dear Sir, with the highest respect, Your most obedient & very humble servant

John Armstrong.

RC (PU). Enclosures not found.

1At a later time someone, possibly JM, interlined “Warden” here.

2Warden had long been seeking a permanent consular position in Paris, but Armstrong, during his tenure as minister to France, refused to support his pretensions and offered him lesser positions at Le Havre and Bordeaux instead. Warden declined these offers and returned home to lobby on his own behalf. He succeeded in obtaining the endorsement of former president Jefferson for his claims to office, and he also actively cultivated the support of Dolley Madison (Skeen, John Armstrong, pp. 113–15, 118; Jefferson to JM, 8 Dec. 1810; Warden to Dolley Madison, 19 Jan. 1811 [ViU]).

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