James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Dolley Madison, [ca. 6 November] 1805

To Dolley Madison

[ca. 6 November 1805]

Yours of the 1st. instant, my dearest gives me much happiness, but it can not be compleat till I have you again secure with me. Let me know the moment you can of the time you will set out that I may make arrangements for paying th⟨e⟩; Dr. &c. My Tobo. has been sold in Richd, but unfortunately th⟨e⟩; bills are not yet come on, and are on N. York at 60 days,1 so that some negociation will be necessary. I did not expect you wd. receive much from your Tenants. Don’t forget to do something as to insuring the Buildings. Your question as to our situation in regard to Spain & England is puzzling. As one gets into ill humor it is possible the other may change her countenance. If a general war takes place in Europe Spain will probably be less disposed to insult us; and England less sparing of her insults. Whether a war will be forced by either is more than can be foreseen. It certainly will not if they consult their interest. The power however of deciding questions of war—and providding [sic] measures that will make or meet it, lies with Congress, and that is always our answer to newsmongers. Madam Turreau is here. The Genl. not. Your friends are al⟨l⟩; well: except Capt. Tingey who has been in extreme danger but is mending. Mrs. Tingey also has been unwell. I inclose a letter from Payne, and one from Mrs. K.2 Miss P’s postscript makes my mouth water. Cousin Isaac’s would too, if he had ever had the taste which I have had. Your ever affece.


I have written to Gooch to hurry on with the Waggon, & to bring the Carpet if it can be secured agst. injury from the greasy & dirty companions it will have.

RC (Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro, N.C.). Undated; conjectural date assigned based on internal evidence and the assumption that it would have taken several days for Dolley Madison’s letter to arrive at Washington.

2This was possibly Dolley’s longtime Philadelphia friend Mary Phille Knapp whose husband, Irish-born John Knapp (d. 1820), was a clerk in the comptroller’s office for many years before his death (Mattern and Shulman, Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, 404; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 31 July 1820; ASP, Miscellaneous, 2:308).

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