Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MONROE. chic. hist. soc. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO JAMES MONROE. chic. hist. soc. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 9.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO JAMES MONROE.chic. hist. soc. mss.
I am giving you more trouble & of a more disagreeable sort than I cd wish, but an enquiry into the case of Jackson’s appt. in May 1814 involves circumstances not to be fully elucidated without a resort which you have kindly permitted.1
The Secy. of War proposed on the 14th May in my absence from Washington to make him a Brigr. with a brevet of Majr Genl till Hampton’s vacancy cd be filled by the Senate. I answered on the 17th send me the Comn.. On the 20th He mentioned nakedly among other things that Harrison had resigned and enclosed one Comn witht alluding to any enclosure. My answr. on the 24 shews that I understood it to be for the brevet, as it intimated the omission of the preliminary one of Brigr.. The Secy was silent & no other Comission sent.
What then was the identical Comn. of Majr. Genl. sent to J—n by the Sey on the 28th of May?
Was it the Comn. enclosed to me on the 20 and understood to be for the Brevet: and if so was it a blank one or filled up with the Brevet appt if the former it was used for a purpose contrary to the known intention of the Pt..: if the latter there must have been an erasure wch cd only be ascertained by the Comn. itself in the hands of J—n.
Cd it have been a blank Comn signed & left in the Dept for ordinary contingencies & inferior grades? This is rendered the more improbable by the apparent necessity of my calling for Com. to be signed—and by the one actually enclosed to me the 20th. If any lights can be properly obtained on this point I sd. be glad of them. The point itself is more than of mere curiosity.
When do you make your next visit to Albemarle?
[1 ]On February 5, 1824, Madison wrote to Monroe again saying he wished information obtained from Jackson to show what was the form and date of the appointment of Major General accepted by him in his letter of June 20, 1814, to the Secretary of War, and when the appointment was to take effect. The reason for his questions is explained in his statement prepared in 1824 (but never printed) entitled: “Review of a statement attributed to Genl. John Armstrong, with an appendix of illustrative documents.” The review said that in the Literary and Scientific Repository, October, 1821, a statement appeared stating that early in May, 1814, Armstrong had proposed that Jackson be appointed a Brigadier with the brevet rank of Major General, until a vacancy should permit his appointment as Major General, and that Madison had approved the arrangement. A communication was, accordingly, made to Jackson, but when Harrison’s resignation was received and reported to Madison he was undecided. Armstrong, however, acted on the President’s first approval and sent a commission to Jackson. The letters gathered by Madison showed that on May 14, 1814, Armstrong had proposed that Jackson be made a Brigadier with the brevet of Major General; that the President ordered Armstrong on May 17 to send a commission for that rank; that on May 20 Armstrong reported Harrison’s resignation without any suggestion concerning Jackson; that on May 24 the President wrote Armstrong that Harrison’s resignation opened the way for a Major General’s commission for Jackson, but he would suspend a final decision. In the meantime he returned the commission of Brevet Major General because he had not received the preliminary one of Brigadier. On May 22 Armstrong wrote to Jackson that commissions would be prepared appointing him Brigadier and Brevet Major General. On June 8 Jackson replied accepting this appointment. On May 28 Armstrong informed Jackson of his appointment as Major General to succeed Harrison. It was evident, according to Madison, that Armstrong was endeavoring to convey the false impression that he, and not Madison, really made the appointment. Madison’s statement proceeds.