James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Orchard Cook, 17 June 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Orchard Cook

17 June 1812, Wiscasset. Benjamin Homans, “lately the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has been removed from that Office by the intemperate persecutions of the Party who are opposed to good Government.” Mentions having previously spoken to JM and to President Jefferson about Homans’s merits and declares that his integrity and “warm Patriotism” as well as “his sufferings from the Frowns & arrogance of his political Adversaries—call loudly on his Party to exert themselves in his behalf.” The state of his finances requires employment, and his friends would be gratified to see him provided for. Secretaries Eustis and Monroe must be aware of his high standing in this state; if there is any vacancy the government would be fortunate to secure his services.1

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

1On 1 July 1812 JM nominated Homans to be U.S. consul at Tunis, a position which Homans declined on the grounds that the salary was inadequate for his needs and that the position would require him to separate himself from his family. In rejecting this offer, Homans stated that he still wished to serve his country if the president so desired but that he would prefer either the consulate in Lisbon or some position at home. In March 1813 Homans received the position of chief clerk in the Navy Department, which he held until 1823 (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 , 2:281; Homans to James Monroe, 25 July 1812 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17]; Dudley et al., Naval War of 1812, 2:54).

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