James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Philip Turner, 3 March 1814

From Philip Turner

Newyork 3rd. of March 1814

God preserve you, I cant help familiarity, I have no where else to go, enclosed you have the Copies of my letter to Mr. Armstrong & a plan for an arrangement of the medical staff, from top to bottom, which I believe will answer every purpose we could wish;1 As to myself, I want nothing more, than to be enrolled on the list of appointments & Commissioned. I am the presidents Obt. servt.

P. Turner

May every Blessing, attend our present administration & Government God grant.

RC and enclosures (DLC). For enclosures, see n. 1.

1In his 2 Mar. 1814 letter to John Armstrong, Turner stated that he had served many years as surgeon to U.S. forces in New York and enjoyed the good opinion of former secretaries of war Henry Dearborn and William Eustis, that he hoped to win Armstrong’s approbation as well, and that Daniel Parker’s 12 Feb. 1813 letter to him had been “considered official & practiced upon as such” by military officers in New York. (For the likely contents of Parker’s letter, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 6:485–86 n. 2.) Turner’s scheme for the reorganization of the Army’s medical staff, also enclosed, suggested that the department be headed by a director general and two “physicians & surgns. in Chief … all for the same money, as now paid the surgn. Genl.,” that four hospital surgeons be retained at reduced pay since they “live better, & their duty nothing so hard,” that one surgeon and mate for each regiment receive the same salary as currently, and that the peace establishment consist of “four surgeons instead of two, and twenty five post mates, to be at the same pay, rations, forage &c, as before.” He added that superintendents and surgeons should be allowed to select their own mates and assistants.

Index Entries