James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Stephen Kingston, 19 December 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Stephen Kingston1

19 December 1811, Philadelphia. “At the present eventful moment I beg leave to offer my services as Consul & Commercial Agent at Vera Cruz, to which I am recommended by the general voice of my fellow Citizens, expressed in the most flattering manner. Above 28 years this has been my home; at intervals wherever Commercial pursuits have found me, the prosperity of the United States & the freedom of her Citizens have not wanted a zealous advocate, and sometime with advantage, where no accredited Agent resided.”

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

1During his years as secretary of state JM had occasionally corresponded with Kingston, a prominent Philadelphia merchant. In seeking a position at Veracruz, Kingston also presented his case to the administration through the offices of the Tennessee representative John Rhea. On the basis of Rhea’s conversations with Monroe, Kingston forwarded two petitions from merchant groups in Baltimore and New York, dated 20 and 28 Dec. 1811, respectively, urging the president to appoint Kingston to Veracruz (ibid.). In a later conversation, Monroe informed Rhea that the administration had some time earlier made an appointment that embraced Veracruz “in its circuit,” but he mentioned that there was a possibility of a position at Havana and inquired whether Kingston would be interested. Rhea duly conveyed Kingston’s consent to this proposition, and JM nominated Kingston to be consul at Havana on 24 Mar. 1812 (see Rhea to Monroe, 29 Jan. and 7 Feb. 1812, ibid.; 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 , 2:240).

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