To Philip P. Barbour
Montpellier Decr. 1. 1822
The enclosed letter1 not having come to hand before your departure for Washington, I cannot so well comply with the request of the writer as by forwarding it for your perusal. Should you think his object a reasonable one, or entitled to a fair consideration, a word of explanation from you to the Secy. of war & the Attorney General, if proper at all, may be more so from you than from me and can not certainly be of less avail. I am indeed without the least information on the case, beyond what is gathered from the letter itself. Of the character of the writer, tho’ my personal knowledge is of old date, I am authorised by all the evidence short of it, to speak favorably. He has been ever represented as remarkable for an honest frankness, and a warmth of good feelings; and as a firm patriot through all the vicissitudes of the times, from the commencement of the Revolution to the present. I have understood too that his present distress is the consequence of no fault but that of a liberality and benevolence, indulged beyond the limits of prudence. With this view of Mr. Ts character & situation, I can not but wish him success in his pursuit, if within the rules by which Congress are of necessity to be gover[n]ed.
1. This letter has not been found, but it was likely from Richard Taylor Sr. of Kentucky, who had been struck off the pension list “on account of his being a Publick defaulter.” Taylor had an invalid pension due to wounds suffered as a captain in the Virginia navy during the Revolutionary War, but there is no evidence that he held public office or was in a position to disburse public moneys (David White to Samuel L. Southard, 9 Apr. 1824, DNA: RG 15, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800–1900; Taylor to JM, 26 Sept. 1816, DLC).