James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Rosewell Saltonstall, 31 July 1812

From Rosewell Saltonstall

New york July 31st. 1812

Worthy friend & American

In America the Land of my nativity which ought to be grateful to every being who drew his first breaths, in it. Permit me to address you again1 & to observe, the Dignitys of & in my Country causes me bitter pangs to hear the acramonious in foul printers presses throughout our Union, stabbing its Rulers. The Charecter of Presidents Govenors General’s Naval Commanders. Not any power can escape the censorious Types, while every true Born American feels circulating in his blood affection for his Government who can suppress Mobs in City’s or give obedience to judicial Power, therein that hears these Sedisious expressions untill the ax is laid to the tree where evil arises, nothing can abate this solid inward affection of Republicans. Heaven grant The President & Executive may issue mandate’s of Emancipation, on our English Printers, while the Sun shine’s in the firmament, may heaven endow me to rule the Pen with shafts of Satirical to lash with tongues, those that insult the Authoritys of my native Country. Inclose’d accept of my Productions as a Specimen of my reverence. I loudly solicit the first Magistrate of America to let them, be put into the National Intelligencer,2 and trust that the other Productions of mine, will by the respected Genl Bloomfield, meet the President, truly do I hope every Gardian eye in Americans brain’s will use fedility to our present cause and spread the wings of Union, over our fertile Land with blessings on The President & his Lady. I have the honor to be with due respect Your Very obedient Humble St.

Rosewell Saltonstall3

NB Its devoutly to be wishd the President will remember the ingenuity & Medical Knowledge & good Sence of the Indian Physician he has Knowledge & Patriotizm4

RC and enclosures (DLC). RC postmarked New York, 9 Aug.; docketed by JM. For enclosures, see n. 2.

1The editors have been unable to locate another letter to JM from Saltonstall subsequent to one of 20 Dec. 1808 (DNA: RG 59, ML). Saltonstall may have referred to the letter in his hand of this date under the name of Edward E. Davis.

2Saltonstall enclosed two letters in his hand; they were not published in the National Intelligencer. One, dated 31 July and titled “Dog in the manger,” is a two-page letter, signed “An American of 1776,” criticizing New Englanders for opposing the war. The other, an undated three-page letter with the same signature, is a response “To the Author of the piece in the New york Even’g Post of Wednesday July 22nd. 1812.” The letter accused that author of “treasonable expressions of & against The Honble Js. Madison,” including his comment that those who “defend Madisons encroachments on the constitution” are “base & stupid.” Saltonstall reproached the publisher of the Post for bowing to “Federal & quaker Faction” by printing anti-Madisonian sentiments. That issue of the Post, however, contained no articles matching this description.

3Rosewell Saltonstall (d. 1840?) was a sailor from New London, Connecticut, who settled in New York and dabbled at being an amateur inventor (Rosewell Saltonstall, Concise History and Biography of Sir Richard Saltonstall … [New York, 1812; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 26688], 4, 5–6, 7; Peterson, Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 12:710, 13:290, 348–49, 361, 723, 15:19, 131).

4Saltonstall referred to Edward E. Davis.

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