James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Lynde Walter and Others, 15 January 1821

From Lynde Walter and Others

Boston 15 Jany 1821


At a meeting of a number of Gentlemen friendly to a Bankrupt Act, it was voted that you shd. be respectfully requested to use your influence, with your friends in Washington, to obtain its passage, at the present Session of Congress; & we were appointed a Committee to convey to you the sense of the Meeting, of the great influence which your exertions, either by letter or in any other way, in favor of so benevolent an object, might have to promote the measure.

While engaged in a pursuit so indispensably necessary, for the welfare & for the liberty of a vast body of our most valuable & most efficient Fellow-Citizens, we need no apology in presenting the subject to your attention; you whose life has been devoted to obtain the same results, in a thousand different shapes. Accept the assurance of our high regard.

Lynde Walter

John MacKay

P.P.F. Degrand

N.G. Carnes


RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Lynde Walter (1767–1844) was the son of a Boston Tory who settled his family in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, during the American Revolution. Walter returned to Boston in 1800 and became a prosperous merchant (Joseph Edgar Chamberlin, The Boston Transcript: A History of Its First Hundred Years [1930; reprint, Freeport, N.Y., 1969], 9; William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit … [9 vols.; 1857–69; reprint, New York, 1969], 5:228 n.).

2John Mackay (d. 1841) was a wealthy Boston merchant and sea captain who, beginning in 1815, backed financially a number of Boston piano makers, including Alpheus Babcock, Thomas Appleton, and Jonas Chickering. In 1830 he formed a partnership with Chickering, providing business and sales expertise and investment capital, as well as importing rare and exotic woods (H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie, eds., The New Grove Dictionary of American Music [4 vols.; London, 1986], 3:150–51).

3Peter Paul Francis Degrand (ca. 1780–1855), a native of Marseilles, arrived in Boston around 1803, and began a merchant banking business. In 1819 he launched the Boston Weekly Report, a compendium of public sales and ship arrivals, which he continued for ten years. Degrand was known for his financial acumen and his civic and philanthropic activities (Holmes Ammidown, Historical Collections [2 vols.; 1877; reprint, Bowie, Md., 1996], 2:445 n.).

4N. G. Carnes was a Boston dry goods merchant (Columbian Centinel, 13 Oct. 1821).

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