On February 1, 1812, Right Reverend James Madison, the first bishop of the Diocese of Virginia of The Episcopal Church in the United States, wrote to his cousin President James Madison.
Bishop Madison was one of the first bishops to be consecrated to the new church after the American Revolution. He also served as the eighth president of the College of William and Mary.
He was writing to President Madison on behalf of his son-in-law, Robert G. Scott. He thought his son-in-law would be an ideal candidate to administer the collection of the new taxes proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Gallatin in his letter to the House of Representatives of January 20, 1812. This proposal called for indirect taxes including duties on distilled domestic spirits, refined sugar, retailing licenses, auction sales, carriages and stamps.
This is the last letter Bishop Madison wrote to the President. He died on March 6, 1812.
From the Right Reverend James Madison
My dear Sir Feby 1. 1812 Williamsburg
I must once more take the Liberty of requesting your Attention to a Solicitation on Behalf of others. My Son in Law, Mr Robert G. Scott, Son of Genl Scott of Georgia, is anxious to be appointed Collector of the Revenue for the District in which Williamsburg, & the adjacent Counties may fall, according to Mr Gallatins proposed Division of the States; provided such a Measure shall be adopted by Congress. I would not, upon any Consideration, have mentioned Mr Scott to you, were I not persuaded that he possesses the Talents, the Industry, & the Integrity which such an Office requires; indeed, I know of no one more likely to discharge the Duties required with greater Correctness, & Promptitude. He is an Atty at Law, & has already acquired the Character of transacting Business with Zeal & Dispatch. His Political Principles are of the firmest republican Cast. Your favourable Attention to his Solicitation will be most gratefully remember’d both by him & myself.
My Health, I fear, is gone. I am now labouring under Dropsy. Medical aid seems to be of little Avail, tho’ I have sought for it among our most skilful Physicians. Digitalis has had some Effect; but it produces a Weakness, which could not long be supported. Tapping must be resorted to within a very short Time.
That your Health & Services to your Country may long be continued is the sincere Supplication of Yrs most truly & Affy
Cited as: The Papers of James Madison Digital Edition, J. C. A. Stagg, editor. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2010.Canonic URL: http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/founders/JSMN-03-04-02-0175 [accessed 30 Dec 2011]Original source: Presidential Series, Volume 4 (5 November 1811–9 July 1812 and supplement 5 March 1809–19 October 1811)