James Monroe to William Crawford, 1821 August 15
Oak hill Augt 15th 1821
The indisposition of Mr Gouverneurs child was our principal motive for hastening back, the parents being so young, & much alarm'd on her account. It is still very weak, & feverish, & the physician thinking that a change of air may be useful, & that we may all derive benefit from the Shannondale water, I have resolv'd to take my family there for a week or ten days, & to depart tomorrow morning. Of this I shall advise the P. M. Genl., & request that the mail for me be sent to Charlestown, nearest p. Office to the Spring, till further instructed.
The vacancy at Marblehead in the custom house presents one of those difficult cases, in which, notwithstanding the real merit of several of the candidates, no one can be selected whose appointment will give general satisfaction. Young Wilson, must, I concur with you, be excluded for the reason stated, his father having held the office many years. Captn Adams appears not to be an inhabitant of the state, having been stationd, at Marblehead the last two years as an officer in the army only, & resident there for the present, in consequence of his marriage. His claim is otherwise well supported. Mr. Crowninshield, is not of the town, but servd in the revolution, & in the last war, as Commander of a privateer. Mr Story presents a long list of names in his favor, from the town, is an inhabitant, has been deputy some years, & otherwise sustains a good character. Major Read is an inhabitant, is a man of good sense, active, & was useful by his aid in fortifying the town in the late war. By the letter to me, it appears that he is a Federalist. I refer to the letter from Mr Crowninshield & Mr. Silsbee. from this letter also, I infer, that they have some particular objection to the appointmt. of Mr. Story. The passage states that they hope, that he will not be in the way, of Mr Crowninshield appointment. It may be presumed, that either of these persons would fill the office with advantage. Mr Story appears to have the most regular claim, but what you state respecting the conduct of his brother is undoubtedly correct, in addition to which the claim of Crowninshield, good in itself, in certain respects, is strongly supported by the merit of his friends Mr B. Crowninshield & Mr Silsbee, to whom it is probable, that the appointment of Story, would cause an increasd mortification. Still can Crowninshield be brought to Marblehead, he having no recommendation from that place, against so strong a support there, of Mr. Story? I shall hear from you again before I decide, unless you should be of opinion, that the public service may suffer by the delay, in which I shall be content that you appoint either the one or the other, as you may think best. I send you the comissions receivd by the last mail with my signatures to them.
When Major Read called I told him that I should not make an immediate appointment, & that I never made one in presence of the applicant.
with great respect & sincere regard yours