James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Louis-André Pichon, 1 November 1804

From Louis-André Pichon


Phila. 1st. 9ber. 1804.


Your favor of the 20th.1 would have been duly acknowledged, had I not been daily expecting to leave this for washington. That of the 26th.2 would also have been follow’ed in time with my acknowledgements, but for the incident of Mr. Bonaparte’s Ship wreck3 which you have probably heard of long ago & which occasioned an excursion towards Newcastle to meet him. I have to thank you, Sir, for the information contained in the last and for the news papers which accompanied it.4 I expect at last to Set out on Saturday and to be in washington on Tuesday where my first care will be to present my duties to you. The interest which you and Mrs. Madison feel in Mrs. Pichon’s Situation5 induces me to Say that her indisposition is of no unpleasant nature; it [is] only so far disagreable that it makes it necessary for her to be constantly, almost, reclined on a bed or an easy chair, and has heretofore prevented her from accompanying me. I find that I am even obliged to leave her here for a fortnight longer. She begs to be remembered to Mrs. Madison and Mrs Cutts, if She be arrived. I take the liberty to present to both my respects, and to Subscribe myself your most obedient and devoted Servant

L. A. Pichon


1Letter not found.

2Letter not found.

3Jerome and Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte left Philadelphia on 23 Oct. 1804 in the snow Philadelphia bound for Cádiz. The ship was driven ashore in a gale in Delaware Bay on 26 Oct., forcing their return to the city on 31 Oct. (Saffell, Bonaparte-Patterson Marriage, 114–15; Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 24 Oct. 1804; Baltimore American, and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 1 Nov. 1804).

4JM may have transmitted the information contained in the 26 Oct. 1804 National Intelligencer that reports from Europe said Napoleon I had forgiven Jerome and his wife for their precipitate marriage and would take “the youthful couple into favor.”

5Mme Pichon, who had lost a young child earlier in 1804, was pregnant with her son Theodore, who was born in the early summer of 1805 (Pichon to JM, 9 July and JM to Monroe, 21 July 1804, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 7:434 n. 1, 499; Alexandrine-Emilie Brongniart Pichon to Dolley Madison, 23 Oct. 1807, DLC: Papers of Dolley Madison, reproduced electronically in The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, ed. Holly C. Shulman [Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004], http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/dmde/DPM0151).

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