ALS by Madison's Secretary of War
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ARMSTRONG, JOHN. (1758-1843). American soldier and public official; Secretary of War under President James Madison. ALS. ("JArmstrong"). 1p. 4to. Rhinebeck, New York, November 10, 1811. Written to a friend, between his assignments as minister to France and Secretary of War.
I found your letter here this evening on my return from a little excursion among my tenants...Be assured that no one enters more entirely into your feelings on this occasion than I do nor would any one do more to relieve you from the very painful situation you are both in...From a first view of the two courses to which you have been advised...perhaps the alternative might be usefully offered -- leaving the election to Congress. With regards to the memorial, I would chearfully [sic] draw it for you, did I know the business sufficiently in detail...a short & clear exposition is all that is wanted...I will most cordially write in pressing my friends and acquaintances in Congress to grant you the indulgence you request from them.
Armstrong served as a United States Senator from New York until his resignation in June 1804, to accept the appointment as American minister to France. There was little glory to be won by any American minister at Napoleon's court, but he served in Paris for six years. Armstrong busied himself with behind-the-scenes politics until he entered Madison's cabinet as Secretary of War in January, 1813. He is largely held responsible for America's military defeat in the War of 1812. Under glass, in a simple black frame with gilt highlights and a cream-colored mat; the overall dimensions are 12" by 15".