James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph Watson, 11 January 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Joseph Watson

11 January 1813, Washington. “Candour and the respect that I entertain for R. Attwater Esquire compel me to state unequivocally that were I not impressed with the idea that his merits are destined for a higher circle of action, the recommendation which I now present would have been withheld;1 Should my expectations in this respect not prove fallacious I would beg leave to mention that I shall feel disposed to exert my slight abilities in the service of my country, and I dare presume to say that Messieurs Varnum and Robinson of the Honourable Senate and MM: Shaw, Bacon, Fisk, Mitchell and Pond of the House of Representatives will vouch thus far if not farther.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Attwater”). 2 pp. Printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, 10:424.

1On 5 Jan. 1813 Reuben Attwater’s petition requesting “compensation for extra services rendered as Secretary of the Michigan Territory, and remuneration for losses sustained from depredations of the enemy on his private property, after the surrender of Detroit, in consequence of his having acted as Governor,” was presented to the Senate (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 2d sess., 39). Watson’s affidavit in support of Attwater’s petition, sworn on 11 Jan. 1813, included accounts of the latter’s exercise of the functions of governor and commander in chief during Hull’s absences from the territory and his reorganization of the territorial militia after the Battle of Tippecanoe. On 28 Jan. 1813 the Senate committee reviewing the petition recommended an award of $500 “as full compensation for all ex officio services, rendered by the petitioner” (Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, 10:425, 427–28).

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