James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Staughton, 23 April 1813

From William Staughton

Philadelphia April 23d. 1813.

Respected Sir,

Permit me to hope that the liberty taken by a stranger will not be considered intrusive. To listen to respectful solicitation is not less consonant with the office of President of a great republic than with that obliging temper of heart which you are accustomed to exhibit.

It is known, Sir, to you that the station of superintendant of the military stores of Philadelphia has by a recent law ceased to exist and that General William Duncan who held it, is no longer in office. I have understood that your kindness is as much disposed to assist this gentleman as his own integrity and talents can be supposed to claim respect and support.

By the death of the great Dr. Rush the office of Treasurer of the Mint has become vacant. Allow me, Sir, to call up to your recollection the character and desert of General Duncan.1 I have had the pleasure of an acquaintan⟨ce⟩ with him for many years. The gentleman and the man of integrity have ever marked his character. He is zealously devoted to the administration of the country and has been among the number of its tried and persevering friends.

Dissappointed in the hope of retaining an office at our arsenal, I am persuaded the treasuryship of the mint would be very grateful to his feelings. His family is large. To be supported by the altar he serves is as reasonable in political circles as in those of Religion.

I will only add that such an appointment would highly gratify a large proportion of our citizens and confer an obligation on Sir, Yr. respectful & most hble Servt

W. Staughton2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1In a 28 Apr. 1813 letter to James Monroe, Timothy Caldwell also recommended William Duncan to be treasurer of the mint (DLC; docketed by JM).

2William Staughton (1770–1829) was born in Warwickshire, England, and trained for the ministry. He emigrated to the United States in 1793, and after heading two academies and receiving a doctor of divinity degree from the College of New Jersey, became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia in 1805. He moved to the Sansom Street Baptist Church, in the same city, in 1811. In 1822 he became president of a new Baptist college in the District of Columbia but resigned in 1827 due to the college’s financial difficulties. In 1829 he accepted the presidency of a college in Georgetown, Kentucky but died on his journey there (S. W. Lynd, Memoir of the Rev. William Staughton, D. D. [Boston, 1834], 18, 21, 32, 40, 51–2, 57–8, 78–80, 217–18, 263–65, 270, 280–81, 289).

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