James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Drayton, 3 April 1811

From John Drayton

HopeLand (So: Carolina) April 3d: 1811.


I have the honor of addressing you, from my plantation; having been resident here, since the close of my late administration.

By information received from Charleston yesterday, from respectable Authority, I am informed Judge Bee’s State of Health is extremely critical at this time; and it is proposed to me, to apply for the office, when the Vacancy takes place.1 I have accordingly taken the same into consideration; and, more on account of my family than myself, have determined to apply to you for the same. What my pretensions to it may be, is with you to Judge. I have been regularly educated to the Law; & practised the same several years in this State: but since Marriage, I have relinquished it.

My reason for thus applying immediately to you sir, is this: should I be honored with the appointment, I will be satisfied you have done it more from your own good wishes & opinions, than from any impressions which you might have received from applications in my behalf. This, I hope sir, will excuse my thus intruding myself upon you: while I avail myself of the occasion to repeat to you my assurances of great consideration & respect, with which I have now the honor to subscribe myself sir Your most obedient Servant

John Drayton

RC, three copies (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1After Thomas Bee’s death in February 1812, JM nominated Thomas Parker on 13 Mar. 1812 to be judge of the district court of South Carolina. Parker declined, and JM then nominated Drayton for the position on 5 May 1812 (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 , 2:235, 262).

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