From Ebenezer H. Cummins
Baltimore 13th Decr. 1820.
I beg leave to address to you an English history of the late war, with a few critical notes by myself.1 It has many merits. My opinion of it is fairly set forth in the advertisement prefixed: but I would be gratified to receive yours in the most conscientious sincerity; and especially of the character of so much as I have appended to the British performance.
I would respectfully request that you will remember me to your amiable and excellent lady, for whom in all relations I have ever cherished the most unqualified regard. I pray that our common heavenly father may bless the evening of your life with health, happiness, and the comforts of this world, and finally receive you into his own society. Yr. Mo Obt. St
Ebenezer H. Cummins2
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.
1. Baine’s History of the Late War, between the United States and Great Britain: With a Critical Appendix, &c., by Ebenezer Harlow Cummins (Baltimore, 1820; Shoemaker 186). This volume was the first American edition of Edward Baines’s eponymous work.
2. Ebenezer Harlow Cummins (ca. 1780–1834) was a North Carolina native, whose family moved to Georgia, where Cummins became a lawyer. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and wrote to JM at least twice applying for government jobs with no success. After leaving the service, Cummins settled for a time in Georgetown, D.C., where he was part-proprietor of the newspaper Spirit of ’Seventy-Six in 1813. In December of that year he launched his own paper, the Senator; it ceased publication in April 1814. Cummins subsequently moved to Baltimore, and then to Philadelphia, where he became part-owner of the True American in December 1817; the last issue was in March 1818. While in Philadelphia, he published A Summary Geography of Alabama (1819). Cummins then settled in Washington where he was a correspondent for the New York Journal of Commerce (Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 20 Jan. 1834; 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 , 2:248; 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 3:390, 391 n. 1; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820 (2 vols.; Worcester, Mass., 1947). description ends , 1:94, 2:955).