James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jones, 14 October 1813

From William Jones

Navy Department Octor. 14. 1813

Dear Sir

The northern mail of yesterday brought an account of the partial success of Chauncey in capturing 4 of Yeo’s Schooners with about 300 regular troops onboard. I hope the mail of to day may bring me his letters.1

Tristram Dalton whom you had designated for one of the Collectorships in Massachusetts is also an applicant for that Office in the District of Columbia which it is thought he would prefer if acceptable to you, this I mention as you are now engaged with the appointments for the District of Massts.2

Be pleased to send on a note of the places of residence of the successful Candidates or their letters as we have no copy of the Tableau sent you. Mr Johnson the post master at New Orleans I am told would make a good Collector. I however know nothing of him or his politicks local or general. I believe he is known to you. I shall enquire to day of Mr. Smith our Navy Agent at New Orleans who is well acquainted with characters there.

I have written to Col. Newton of Norfolk to let him know your pleasure and ascertain his disposition in relation to the collectorship.

Our Canadian prospects brighten very much. Chauncy has the undisputed Command of the Lake and can convoy the troops at pleasure.

If our military movement on the St Laurance is vigorous and commanding, Kingston & the fleet must be abandoned and the conquest of Montreal appears not beyond the reach of probability this season. Mr Smith has just entered my office and recommends highly Mr George W Morgan the present Sheriff of Orleans and former collecter of taxes whilst that State was a territory as a gentleman of respectability and worth well qualified in all respects and a decided friend of the Administration.

He knows of no incompatibility under the laws of that State. I am very sincerely and respectfully your Obedt Servt

W Jones

Montpelier is not more healthy than Washington

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML).

1Jones probably referred to an 11 Oct. 1813 letter to Joseph Bloomfield from “an officer of the Army” at New York, and to reports from the offices of the Albany Argus and New York National Advocate dated 8 Oct. 1813, all of which were published in the Daily National Intelligencer on 14 Oct. 1813. The reports identified two of the captured vessels as the former U.S. schooners Julia and Growler. Chauncey’s 6 Oct. 1813 letter informing Jones of these events, which was published in the Daily National Intelligencer on 19 Oct., stated that he had actually captured five vessels, which were conveying British troops from York to Kingston (DNA: RG 45, Captains’ Letters).

2Tristram Dalton wrote to Richard Cutts on 31 Aug. 1813 explaining that after applying to Jones for the collectorship of Essex County, Massachusetts, he had learned that the District of Columbia would also be subject to the new taxes and had applied to JM for the collectorship there. He emphasized that he would prefer the Washington appointment (ViU: Richard Cutts Papers).

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