James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Hull, 12 December 1811 (Abstract)

§ From William Hull1

12 December 1811, Newton. States that Reuben Attwater’s term as secretary of the Michigan Territory will expire on 1 Mar. 1812. Has approved of Attwater’s conduct in office and would find his reappointment “highly satisfactory.” Presumes that there will be no objection to the reappointment but mentions it because Attwater is now the acting governor. “I do not expect to return to the Territory, as early as the 1st. of march. It is therefore desirable that the appointment should be made, and the commission forwarded, so that he may receive it, before the 1st. of March, otherwise, there will be no Officer authorized to administer the goverment.”2

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Attwater”). 2 pp. Printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, 10:372.

1William Hull (1753–1825), after graduating from Yale College in 1772 and serving with distinction in the Revolutionary War, had practiced law in Newton, Massachusetts, from 1784 to 1805, when Jefferson appointed him territorial governor of Michigan. Hull visited Washington in March 1812 to settle his accounts, at which time he commenced discussions with the administration about the problems both of defending Detroit in the event of war with Great Britain and of launching an offensive against Upper Canada from the Michigan Territory (Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, 3:444–48; “Documents relating to Detroit and Vicinity, 1805–1813,” Michigan Historical Collections, 40 [1929]: 25–51).

2JM nominated Attwater for a further four-year term as secretary of the Michigan Territory on 30 Dec. 1811 (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 , 2:197–98).

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