James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 15 June 1810

From Edmund Randolph

Richmond June 15. 1810.

My dear sir

This is the first letter, which I have written, since my convalescence after the dreadful attack from a hemiplegia, with which by a kind of sympathy with my poor wife,1 I was afflicted in a few weeks from her death. It happily affected no faculty of my mind, and has not taken away the sanguine hope, that altho’ I require in rough ground the aid of a crutch, I may be restored to the free use of my legs.

I write now, in reference to my friend the Governor. Judge Griffin is so much reduced by a longstanding disease, and seems so little able to resist a great flux of blood, which seized him about a week ago, that I cannot forbear indulging my friendship for Mr Tyler by saying to you, that he was long conversant in the admiralty practice, and I have from a review of his situation, after the expiration of his triennium presumed, that it would be grateful to him even now to return to the bench.

I have been urged by my children to restrict my future practice at the bar to a smaller compass than heretofore, from a belief, that I ought to rest from promiscuous professional labour. To their advice I shall submit, and pursue the gratification of my literary appetite2 at the loss of a flattering income. Under all circumstances, I shall pray for your happiness and fame; being my dear sir your affectionate friend

Edm: Randolph


1Elizabeth Nicholas Randolph died on 6 Mar. She suffered a stroke in October 1809 that left her partially paralyzed (John J. Reardon, Edmund Randolph: A Biography [New York, 1974], p. 360).

2Randolph was writing a history of Virginia. Never published in his lifetime, his manuscript was later destroyed by fire. The history is known only from an incomplete copy (Edmund Randolph, History of Virginia, ed. Arthur H. Shaffer [Charlottesville, Va., 1970], pp. xxxvii-xlix).

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