James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joshua Wingate Jr., 1 March 1813

From Joshua Wingate Jr.

Bath Dist. of Maine March 1st. 1813

Dr Sir,

It is reported that in a representation signed by a number of persons in Portland & its vicinity, in favor of J.D. Learned & Vinson as Colln. & Majr. of a Regt. of Volunteers, it is alledged that “Isaac Ilsley, Robert Ilsley, Joshua Wingate Jr, James C. Jewett, James Wingate and Thomas Pitts had not promoted the raising Volunteers, & that they had done nothing to put down Clintonianism, for reasons very obvious.” These allegations I declare to be willful and malicious falshoods, and as the representation was unquestionably got up at the instance of Learned & Vinson,1 I have to request, if the paper contains the charges above stated against us, (and you shall deem it proper) you would be pleased to withold the Commissions of these persons, until we have an opportunity to confute the base calumny, which we pledge ourselves to do as soon, after we receive a copy of the paper in question, as practicable. We are very unwilling to trouble you with this application, but justice to ourselves and a due respect for the good opinion and confidence of the Administration & our other political friends, requires we should defend ourselves against these foul aspersions. I have the honor to be with sentiments of the highest Esteem & Respect Your Most Obt Servt

J. Wingate Jr2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Joseph D. Learned was appointed as colonel and Thomas M. Vinson as major in the Thirty-fourth Regiment of Infantry on 23 Feb. 1813 (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , 1:621, 988).

2Joshua Wingate Jr. (ca. 1773–1843), a Maine Republican and Henry Dearborn’s son-in-law, served as chief clerk of the War Department under Dearborn for several years beginning in 1801. He was appointed collector for the port of Bath in 1806 and held that office until 1822 (Daily National Intelligencer, 28 Nov. 1843; 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 , 2:20–21; Fischer, The Revolution of American Conservatism, 221).

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