James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard Cocke, 19 December 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Richard Cocke

19 December 1811, Springfield, Kentucky. Not having the honor of being acquainted with JM and never having solicited an office in his life, his sensations on this occasion “are a little out of the usual track.” When he resigned his previous office,1 he did not contemplate engaging in public life again, but friends in Louisiana have induced him to seek the vacancy resulting from the death of Judge Shrader. Refers JM to Governor Claiborne and former secretary Thomas B. Robertson for the “rectitude” of his conduct in the Orleans Territory, and for his “general character” to “Mr. Taylor judge of the Indiana territory now in Washington”2 and to Mr. Ormsby, representative from Kentucky.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Cocke”). 2 pp.

1Jefferson had appointed Cocke to be a commissioner for ascertaining French and Spanish land titles in the Opelousas land district in May 1807. Cocke apparently resigned the position in September 1809 (see Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:728–29, 988).

2See Waller Taylor to Monroe, 11 Jan. 1812 (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Cocke”). JM was also to receive a letter dated 19 Dec. 1811 from Matthew Walton of Washington County, Kentucky, endorsing Cocke’s candidacy (ibid.; 2 pp.).

Index Entries