James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Kirk, 14 February 1814

From William Kirk

North Carolina Orange County Feba 14th. 1814


V[i]ewing the Ensueing Campaign A Time for Every true hearted American to Distinguish him Self In Takeing an A[c]tive part In Behalf of his Country Against our Common foe I Take this method of Tendering my services In the glorious Contest which the American goverment has Been Dragd, Into By great Brittain. I am By age Beyond the Reach of The Military Laws (Being abo⟨ut⟩ 47 years Old) yet for the Zeal I feel for Our Cause the Love of Country the Glorous prospects of Conquest If you will place me through the organs of goverment In a Station That Shall Comport with my age geneous and military skill—I will forego all The Sweets of Domestic life for the glories of the Tented field. I will Leave my wife & Children Dear for a season To Undergo the hardships of a Campaign that we may through the Lord of host scale the walls of Quebeck. I wate your pleashure, I wate your promotion for One Campaign. If It prove Glorious—gladly will I Return Hom[e]. If not & my health shoud Remain Unimpard my Life Spard I will Embark Dureing The war. It woud Be superflous for me As A Stranger to Say anything more. I wate your Instructions on the subject which I hope you will hasten As Some Arrangements will Be nessesary for the Comfort of my family. Your fellow citisen & most Obt humble sert

Wm. Kirk

Sent by the mail haw

River post Office

P.S. I Should have made known my wishes Th[r]ough the medium of Mr Stanfor But Our political Sentiments Are not In Unison, I pitty his apostacy I Despise his opposition and Inconsistency.1

I Shall Do my self the honour to address a few limes [sic] to the honourable N: Macon On that Subject.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Richard Stanford (1767–1816) of Orange County, North Carolina, represented that district in Congress from 1797 until his death. An early Jeffersonian Republican, he later became associated with the antiadministration, or “Quid,” wing of the party led by John Randolph of Virginia and Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina. Due to his constituents’ growing dissatisfaction with his antiwar stance, Stanford faced Republican opponents in the elections of 1812 and 1814, winning the first contest handily but nearly losing the second (Powell, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 5:421–22).

Index Entries