Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 17 September 1792

To James Madison

Monticello Sep. 17. 1792.

My dear Sir

I thank you for the perusal of the two letters which are now inclosed. I would also have inclosed Fenno’s two last papers but that Mr. Randolph, who has them, has rode out. If he returns in time they shall be sent you by the bearer. They contain nothing material but the Secretary’s progress in paying the national debt, and attacks and defences relating to it. The simple question appears to me to be What did the Public owe, principal and interest, when the Secretary’s taxes began to run? And what does it owe now, Principal and interest? If less, it must have been paid. But if he was paying old debts with one hand and creating new ones with the other, it is such a game as Mr. Pitt is playing. My grandaughter has been at death’s door. The Doctor left us only this morning. She is now we think out of danger. While we sent for him for one patient, two others were prepared for him, to wit, my daughter and a grandson which she produced. All are now doing well. Yet I think I shall not be able to leave her till about Tuesday, and even then it will depend on the little accidents to which her present situation leaves her liable. Adieu my dear Sir. Your’s affectionately

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “James Ma[dison]”; at foot of text: “Mr. Madison.” PrC (DLC). Tr (DLC); 19th-century copy. Enclosures not found.

TJ’s first and favorite grandson was Thomas Jefferson Randolph (1792–1875), the eldest son of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., and later the executor of Jefferson’s will and editor of the first published collection of his papers (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ). Madison wrote a letter to TJ on 16 Sep. 1792 on the subject of “Kentucky Elections” (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 17 vols. description ends , xiv, 366), which is recorded in SJL as received from Orange on this date but has not been found.

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