From William Barton, 6 June 1814 (Abstract)
§ From William Barton.1 6 June 1814, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “I take the liberty of enclosing, herewith, the Prospectus of a pretty arduous Work, in which I am engaged. I shall be much gratified, if it should meet Your approbation; and it shall be my endeavour to render it worthy of the patronage of the American Public.”
RC (DLC) and enclosure (DLC: Madison Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division). RC 1 p.; docketed by JM. The enclosed prospectus was Barton’s Select American Biography: or An Account of the Lives of Persons, Connected by Nativity, or Otherwise, with the History of North America, Since the First Discovery of the Country … (Lancaster, Pa., 1814; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 51359). The proposed work was never published (Milton Rubincam, “A Memoir of the Life of William Barton, A.M. (1754–1817),” Pennsylvania History 12 : 192).
1. William Barton (1754–1817) was the brother of physician and botanist Benjamin Smith Barton and the nephew of astronomer David Rittenhouse. A lawyer by training, he was also known as an expert on heraldry, and in 1782 designed the seal of the United States. In 1789 he was introduced to JM by Rittenhouse after having declined an appointment as one of the judges of the Northwest Territory. A long-time member of the American Philosophical Society, he authored a biography of his famous uncle, Memoirs of the Life of David Rittenhouse, LLD. F.R.S. … Interspersed with Various Notices of Many Distinquished Men; With an Appendix, Containing Sundry Philosophical and Other Papers … (Philadelphia, 1813; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 27835), as well as several earlier works on financial and commercial topics (Rubincam, “Memoir of the Life of William Barton,” Pennsylvania History 12 : 179–80, 182, 186–91; PJM, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11–17, Charlottesville, Va., 1977–91). description ends 12:285–86 and n. 1).