From the Right Reverend James Madison
Feby 1. 1812 Williamsburg
My dear Sir
I must once more take the Liberty of requesting your Attention to a Solicitation on Behalf of others. My Son in Law, Mr Robert G. Scott,1 Son of Genl Scott of Georgia, is anxious to be appointed Collector of the Revenue for the District in which Williamsburg, & the adjacent Counties may fall, according to Mr Gallatins proposed Division of the States; provided such a Measure shall be adopted by Congress.2 I would not, upon any Consideration, have mentioned Mr Scott to you, were I not persuaded that he possesses the Talents, the Industry, & the Integrity which such an Office requires; indeed, I know of no one more likely to discharge the Duties required with greater Correctness, & Promptitude. He is an Atty at Law, & has already acquired the Character of transacting Business with Zeal & Dispatch. His Political Principles are of the firmest republican Cast. Your favourable Attention to his Solicitation will be most gratefully remember’d both by him & myself.
My Health, I fear, is gone. I am now labouring under Dropsy.3 Medical aid seems to be of little Avail, tho’ I have sought for it among our most skilful Physicians. Digitalis has had some Effect; but it produces a Weakness, which could not long be supported. Tapping must be resorted to within a very short Time.
That your Health & Services to your Country may long be continued is the sincere Supplication of Yrs most truly & Affy
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.
1. Robert G. Scott, husband of Susan Randolph Madison, represented York County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1813–18, and was a member of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1850. He also served for many years after 1814 on the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , p. 426; College of William and Mary, The History of the College of William and Mary from Its Foundation, 1660, to 1874 [Richmond, 1874], p. 78).
2. Bishop Madison was referring to those sections of Gallatin’s plan, submitted to the House of Representatives on 20 Jan. 1812, that proposed to increase the revenue of the government in the coming year by imposing direct and indirect taxes. The proposals for indirect taxes included duties on distilled domestic spirits, refined sugar, retailing licenses, auction sales, carriages, and stamps. With respect to the administration of the taxes, Gallatin suggested that the maximum efficiency could be achieved by “the division of the States into convenient collection districts, and by the appointment of a collector to each district, who will pay into the treasury, and be immediately accountable to that department, in the same manner as the collectors of customs” (see ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Finance, 2:523–27).
3. Bishop Madison died on 6 Mar. 1812. This was the last letter he wrote to JM.