James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Bentley, 24 April 1810

From William Bentley

Salem MASS. 24. April. 1810.


Permit me to say, that in asking a Letter to Gen Stark, It never entered my thoughts to answer any Public purpose.1 But I may say with truth,

Gen Stark’s Letter has saved New England.

The bitterest invectives are from this conviction, but they soon cease. Still the conviction is sure, “And they gnaw their tongues for pain.”2

Assured that I speak the sense of all N E, I remain with the highest honour of your public & private Character your devoted Servant

William Bentley.


1In his diary entry for 1 Mar. 1810, Bentley noted the local publication of Stark’s 21 Jan. letter to JM. Then on 9 Mar. Bentley wrote: “Gen. Stark has been much insulted, as well as President Madison, for the publication of a correspondence between these two patriots which has done wonders in New England in confirming the patriots in their duty. The Opposition fear the final success” (Diary of William Bentley, 3:502, 503).

2Rev. 16:10.

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