James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Aaron Haight Palmer and Henry B. Hagerman, 23 November 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Aaron Haight Palmer and Henry B. Hagerman1

23 November 1812, New York. Signed a paper addressed to JM, “purporting to be a Representation of the superior Officers of the Regiment of New York Volunteers,”2 and now deem it their duty to explain that they were induced to sign it by their faith in “Colonel De la Croix declaration of the facts as therein set forth,” which, they regret to state, “have subsequently proved to be groundless misrepresentations.”

Inform JM reluctantly that “the Colonel has not equalled the expectations we had sanguinely entertained of his talents and reputation as a gentleman and a soldier, which has determined us on receding from the engagement into which we had entered to serve under his command; at the same time assuring Your Excellency that we hold ourselves in readiness, at the call of our Country to Volunteer our services in the defence of her rights and liberties.”

“We respectfully refer Your Excellency to General Armstrong for more particular information on the subject of this letter; to whom we have imparted our objections to serve under Colonel De la Croix, and who suggested to us the propriety of the present communication.”

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, P-19:7). 2 pp.; redirected by JM to the “Secy of War”; docketed as received in the War Department on 15 Jan. 1813.

1Henry B. Hagerman was a captain in the Fifth Militia Regiment from New York County in 1812 (Hastings, Military Minutes of the N.Y. Council of Appointment, 2:1300).

2It is uncertain to which paper JM’s correspondents referred. Possibly they were signatories to the petition urging JM to appoint Lacroix as a general in the U.S. Army (Petition Recommending Irenée Amelot de Lacroix, ca. 18 Sept. 1812), or they may have signed a later petition (not found but dated 31 Oct. 1812) requesting that the volunteer companies raised in New York City “be inspected, mustered and received” (John Armstrong to Lacroix, 8 Nov. 1812 [printed in Portrait of Colonel I. A. de La Croix (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 32553), 171]).

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