James Madison Papers

Aquila Giles to James Monroe, 3 August 1813 (Abstract)

§ Aquila Giles1 to James Monroe

3 August 1813, New York. “I hope it will not be considered as trespassing too much on your time, again to solicit the favor of you, to use your influence with the President, to obtain for me the Command of one of [the] Regiments to be raised for the defence of this City. I think I can with confidence say, that such an appointment, would be very generally acceptible to the Citizens of all parties. I beg leave to inclose to you a copy of a Letter written by Col. Willet and major Fairlie to Genl. Armstrong on that subject; expressive of their opinion, as to my abilities &c.2 Immediately after the de[c]laration of War, I made a tender of my services to the President, thro’ Mr. Eustis [not found], which I presume may not have been laid before him.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Giles.” 1 p. Docketed by Monroe, “For the President.” For enclosure, see n. 2.

1Aquila Giles (1758–1822) was a major in the Continental Army and aide-de-camp to Gen. Arthur St. Clair during the Revolutionary War. Appointed marshal of New York in 1792, he was removed from that post early in Thomas Jefferson’s administration; the new president characterized him as a “most violent party man” who “pack[ed] grand juries.” Giles attained the rank of brigadier general in the New York militia, but as a Federalist faced opposition from Daniel D. Tompkins to his application for a U.S. Army appointment. He received none during the War of 1812 but was named military storekeeper in 1817 (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 , 1:456; Kline, Papers of Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr (2 vols.; Princeton, N. J., 1983). description ends , 1:535–36, 543; Hastings, Public Papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, 2:510, 3:353–54).

2The enclosed copy of a letter from Marinus Willett and James Fairlie, 24 July 1813 (1 p.), recommended Giles as “a valuable and experienced Officer” and urged that “the Government … again call his usefulness into Action.”

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