James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Alexander Scott, 10 March 1821

From Alexander Scott

George Town March 10th 1821

Dear Sir,

In addition to the favors heretofore received from you,1 (which I shall ever hold in grateful recollection) I feel a reluctance at making any other request, and must premise a wish that you will not comply with it unless perfectly agreeable to your feelings.

I should wish to fill a situation created under the Spanish treaty2 (Secretary to the Board of Commissioners,) and consider myself qualified for it by a knowledge of the French and Spanish Languages, which the law requires. The former I learned in early youth, and by a subsequent residence in France attained a more perfect knowledge of it. The latter I can translate, not with the same facility but with correctness. I am recommended strongly by my friends Genl Mason,3 Mr. Wirt, & Chancellor Kilty,4 also Col Lloyd5 of the Senate. The present Pressure of the times has much augmented the competition for office, and the number of applicants is further encreased by the diminution of the army. A few lines from you to Col Monroe would, I am persuaded turn the scale in my favor. I do assure you Sir, it shall be the last time I will ever ask your interference, and do it now with much unwillingness.

Mrs. Scott, who is in very bad health and under great mental depression from the recent loss of our two promising sons, desires her best respects and wishes to Mrs Madison. With great respect and Esteem I am Dr Sir Yr mo: obedt. Servt

Alexander Scott

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1For Alexander Scott and his previous requests for letters of recommendation, see Scott to JM, 7 Apr. and 11 Aug. 1819, and 2 Jan. 1820, PJM-RS description begins David B. Mattern et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Retirement Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 2009–). description ends 1:446, 447 nn., 496, 579–80 and n. 1.

2“An Act for carrying into execution the treaty between the United States and Spain, concluded at Washington on the twenty-second day of February, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen,” 3 Mar. 1821, U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 3:637–39.

3John Mason (1766–1849), son of George Mason of Gunston Hall, the owner of Analostan Island in the Potomac River, and one of the leaders of Washington society, was a wealthy merchant and president of the Bank of Columbia. He had been brigadier general of the District of Columbia militia, 1802–11 (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 1:236 n. 3; PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 1:448 n. 1; Van Horne, Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 2:208 n. 1).

4William Kilty (1757–1821), a lawyer and veteran of the Revolutionary War, was chancellor of Maryland, 1806–21 (William L. Marbury, “The High Court of Chancery and the Chancellors of Maryland,” Report of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Maryland State Bar Association [1905]: 132–35).

5Edward Lloyd (1779–1834) was a Maryland planter who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1805–9; as governor of Maryland, 1809–11; in the Maryland Senate, 1811–19 and 1826–31; and in the U.S. Senate, 1819–26. He was a strong supporter of the Madison and Monroe administrations (Sobel and Raimo, Biographical Directory of the Governors, 2:652–53).

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