Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, [ca. 11] November 1800

From James Madison

[ca. 11] Novr. 1800.

Dear Sir

Yours by Mr Erwin was delivered by him, safe with the two letters inclosed. I forwarded them by him this morning, as you desired to the Governour. They confirm in substance the state and difficulty of the negociation as presented by the late Statement under the Paris head. The observations on the delays carried out by the Ex. and the favorable moment lost thereby, are interesting, and deserve the public attention, if they could be properly submitted to it. I have suggested the idea to the Govr. The accts. from S. Carolina are rather ominous. but I trust we shall soon be relieved by an overbalance of republicanism in the upper elections. To the most unfavorable suppositions we can as yet oppose the hopes presented by Pennsylva. and the chance that a competency of votes may be obtained in spite of defections in the former State. I inclose a hand bill lately published in Maryland & industriously circulated there & to the Southwd. You will probably be surprized at one of the documents included in it. Mr. Duval expresses considerable fears of its tendency, but I cannot view the danger in so serious a light. I am glad to find you do not mean to postpone your journey to Washington later than the 21st. as I wish much to see you on the way, and shall set out for Richmd. if called thither on the electoral errand as is probable, at least 8 or 9 days before the legal day. The elections as far as I have learned are successful beyond expectation. In this County the votes were 340 odd to 7. and in a number of other Counties in the most commanding1 majorities. Even in Frederick, I hear the difference was nearly as 3 to 1.

Yrs affy.

Js. Madison Jr

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 13 Nov. and so recorded in SJL. For enclosures, see Monroe to TJ, 6 Nov. and TJ to Madison, 9 Nov.

Late statement under the Paris head: see Madison to TJ, 21 Oct.

Hand bill lately published in Maryland: The Annapolis Maryland Gazette of 25 Sep. published a “Certificate of Mr. Peregrine Fitzhugh, a gentleman of unquestionable veracity, honour and integrity,” dated 9 Sep., in which Fitzhugh wrote: “In a conversation which took place a few months after the last election for president and vice-president of the United States, Mr. Jefferson expressed to me the great satisfaction he felt at the choice of president having devolved on Mr. Adams instead of himself … and that the charge of Mr. Adams’s being a monarchist, however it might have served to answer an electioneering purpose, was totally unfounded … and that he could with great truth pronounce Mr. Adams to be as firm and decided a republican as ever lived.—In giving this certificate I derive additional pleasure from the hope that it may tend to rescue Mr. Jefferson from the unmerited charge exhibited against him by some of his friends, that the high encomiums which he passed on Mr. Adams’s character in his speech on assuming the office of vice-president, were not his real sentiments, but the effect of mere compliment.” Gabriel Duvall wrote Madison that he was “fearful” what the effects of the handbill would be (Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 28 vols. description ends 17:424). Duvall also published a series of letters in the Maryland Gazette from July through October 1800 as a vindication of the conduct and character of TJ.

The legal day: 3 Dec. 1800, when the electors were scheduled to meet in their respective state capitals.

1Preceding three words interlined.

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