James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Maury, 6 April 1821

From William Maury

New Orleans 6 April 1821

Dear Sir,

I addressed you some weeks since1 from this place, & now submit for your inspection & opinion the annexed copy of a letter which I have to day received from my Fathers partner.2

It is a subject upon which I would not have taken the liberty of addressing you, did I not know the strong friendship you have always manifested towards my Father. Pardon me therefore in doing this for his sake.

Might I ask the favor of you to consult Mr Monroe at your convenience, whether an application from my Father for the Office of Consul, in the event of his resignation for myself, would be successful.

His delicacy upon such a subject would be such, that unless there was a strong probability of success he would not apply; & even then, he could not, except taking into consideration that for the first 20 years the Office cost him from 1 a $400 per annum & that now, he should be reimbursed, his Family will from the usual course of Nature with persons at his advanced stage of life lose their only chance.

Indeed my Dear Sir, tis but from these considerations alone that I thus address you, & again I pray you pardon the liberty.

The weather is becoming very warm thermometer 80 & this is so great a warning for a Stranger that I shall take it next week.

The Governor was married last evening to Mr Skipwiths eldest daughter3—she is 18.

I hope to find Mrs Madison & yourself in good health when I call for quarters in May. Meantime I have the honor to be Dear Sir Your most obedient servant

William Maury

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC docketed by JM. For enclosure, see n. 2.

2The enclosure (2 pp.) was a copy of William Latham to William Maury, 25 Jan. 1821, in which Latham wrote: “Your Father never appears to have looked to the possibility of one of his Sons succeeding him in his situation as Consul, altho a matter that would be very desirable for his family—as the situation is now becoming valuable & ought from this time to Nett £700 c £800 per annum—at least to any one who would succeed him, as you[r] Father is at an expence for Clerks &c. which certainly might be considerably lessened—he appears to dislike taking it into consideration & therefore your Mother is unwilling to say anything to him of it, but she authorizes me to tell you that in the event of anything happening to your Father, & which at his time of life ought to be taken into view; for the sake of his family, she would be most anxious that you should succeed him, provided that there was any prospect of an application being successful. The point is—to ascertain that prospect.”

3Thomas Bolling Robertson married Lelia Skipwith, the eldest daughter of Fulwar Skipwith, former U.S. commercial agent and consul general at Paris, and governor of the West Florida Republic (Conrad, Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, 2:689; 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 2:333 n. 2).

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