James Madison Papers

John King to James Madison, 14 August 1830

Richmond 14 Augt. 1830

Dear Sir

Not having the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with you nor the advantage of an epistolary introduction by a friend I must therefore beg pardon for the liberty taken by a stranger for this abrupt obtrusion of himself & his business.

Suffice it to observe that from recent acts of congress making provision for the payment of Officers & soldiers of the revolutionary War, The heirs of Col. Thomas Bullett (whom you may have been personally acquainted with & who was as they understand Adjutant General of the Virginia Line of Continental Troops stationed at Williamburg in 1775) are under impressions that they are entitled to payment for services of said Bullett as Officer aforesaid he having as they believe died in the Service—

But from the burning of the War Office at Washington, by an incendiary as was suppos’d, and consequently with it all records & papers thereof many years since the Heirs of said Bullett are deprived of access to written records and in the absence thereof have now to resort to living ones amongst whom they have thought of you whom they understood was an Officer also at Williamsburg at that Crisis—

Now if you can aid the descendants & Heirs of Bullett (with whom I am partly interested by marriage with a grand daughter of Judge Cuthbert Bullett brother & heir of said Thomas & whom you may have also been acquainted with) in the investigation by giving such information as you may be in possession of in relation to the subject it will be gratefully recieved by them through me their agent.

I have obtain’d a certificate from Chief Justice Marshall which affords considerable light & help in the prosecution of this claim, but the evidence is not conclusive.

I would be glad to hear from you at an early period if convenient to your leisure hourswith sentiments of the highest consideration respect & esteem I am Dr Sir Yours &c sincerely

John King

P S Robert Pollard Esqr. of this place has also given me a certificate on this subject which is corroborative but not final evidence.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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