James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lewis, 6 September 1808

Philada. Sept. 6: 1808

Dear Sir,

Understanding that a Messenger is ⟨a⟩bout to be dispatched by our Government to France on publick business, and supposing Nicholas B⟨i⟩ddle esquire, a proper person to be trusted on ⟨su⟩ch an Occasion, I have Conversed on the Subject with his father Charles Biddle esquire, and find, that it would be very agreeable to him as well as to his Son, for the latter to have the appointmen⟨t⟩ if it is of such a nature as I suppose it to be. He is a young Gentleman of fine natural talents, hi⟨gh⟩ly improved by study and education, and ⟨in⟩ whose honor and prudence the greatest Conf⟨i⟩dence may be safely reposed. In addition to this, h⟨e⟩ is not destitute of experience, for he went wi⟨th⟩ my friend General Armstrong to France as his private Secretary, and remained with him for ⟨a⟩ Considerable time, I believe in a pretty efficient Capa⟨ci⟩ty. As a Mere bearer of written instructions, which ⟨co⟩uld as well be carried by any other person of Care and fidelity, I would not mention him to you, ⟨bu⟩t if more than this is intended, and if it requires such qualifications as have been mentioned, I ass⟨u⟩re you, that I know no young Gentleman of superior worth, or who possesses them in a more eminen⟨t⟩ degree than Mr. Nicholas Biddle.

With my best wishes for your health and happiness, as well as for that of your good Lady, to whom I beg you will make my Best Compliments I am dear Sir your faithful friend and Obedient servant

W. Lewis

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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