James Madison Papers

James Taylor to Dolley Payne Madison, 13 April 1813 (Abstract)

§ James Taylor to Dolley Payne Madison

13 April 1813, Washington. “The enclosed Letter from my Son, will shew you at a glance, what must be my feelings.1

“Agonized as they have been, by the destruction of my property, by the Severeance of a dear and endearing part of my Domestic bliss—And this alone, alone, from my attachment to principles, emanating from my feelings to the Administration.

“I now Madam, Apply at least, for decision, a Cartel may be given to me; and I may be appointed a Sailing Master in the Navy2—I may save my Son—And I may get something like remuneration, for what has been destroyed—I may at least Regain some portion of domestic Happiness added to that which yet Even Providence has spared to me.

“Let me not be bold!!! But no my ever Respected Madam—The part of an Applicant, who has sacrificed his all—is not to dictate—it is to explain and to Solicit—I ask from the president—a Sailing Masters Warrant—And a Cartel to go to Bermuda—My Name, my Services—my Sacrifices are before him. My claim and my feelings are before you. And an early Answer is respectfully Solicited.”

RC (owned by Walter N. Eastburn, East Orange, N.J., 1961). 1 p. Enclosure not found, but see n. 1.

1The enclosure probably conveyed the news that midshipman Dugomier Taylor had been captured on 3 Mar. 1813 in the U.S. schooner Ulysses, by the British frigate Narcissus, and taken to Bermuda as a prisoner of war. Dugomier Taylor wrote William Jones from Bermuda on 31 Mar. 1813 to report these events (DNA: RG 45, Letters from Commissioned Officers below the Rank of Commander).

2Jones sent James Taylor a sailing master’s warrant on 19 Apr. 1813 (DNA: RG 45, Letters to Officers). Taylor did not, however, receive command of a cartel, and wrote the State Department to ask for one again in 1815 (Taylor to John Graham, 2 Jan. 1815, DNA: RG 59, War of 1812 Papers, Requests for Permission to Sail from the U.S.).

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