James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Tench Ringgold, 24 December 1817

From Tench Ringgold

Washington Decr. 24 1817

Dear Sir

In the summer of the year 1816, I took the liberty of transmitting to you, through Mr. Monroe, a letter from William Pinkney Esquire, recommending me to your consideration, as Marshal of this district,1 provided the present incumbent Mr Boyd2 should resign his office.

As it is extremely probable, that Mr. Boyd will shortly resign his appointment, in consequence of continued ill health, and incapacity to discharge its duties, the above letter will be essentially useful to me in the application which I have made to the President for the appointment. I therefore take the liberty to beg the favor of you to transmit it to me, if it is still in your possession.

Mrs. Ringgold unites with me, in the most respectful compliments to Mrs. Madison and yourself; and in good wishes for your hea[l]th & happiness. Permit me Sir, on this occasion, to express the high sentiments of esteem and regard, which I have on all occasions had for you, and to subscribe myself with the highest & most respectful consideration Sir your sincere friend & sert

Tench Ringgold3

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The letter, enclosed in Ringgold to JM, 23 May 1816 (DLC), was William Pinkney to JM, 10 May 1816 (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Ringgold”).

2Washington Boyd (d. 1821), longtime treasurer of Washington, D.C., was U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia until his resignation in 1818 (Daily National Intelligencer, 7 Mar. 1821; Boyd to Daniel Minor, 20 Apr. 1818 [DNA: RG 59, LRD]; W. B. Bryan, “A Fire in an Old Time F Street Tavern and What It Revealed,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society 9 [1906]: 213).

3Tench Ringgold (1776–1844), originally of Maryland, operated a rope walk in Washington before his appointment as one of the commissioners of public buildings in 1815. He was appointed U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia in 1818 and was reappointed in 1823 and 1827 (Van Horne, Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 3:634 and n. 1; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 3:142, 150, 315, 329, 552, 558).

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