James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Luckey, 26 August 1810

From George Luckey

Harford County Mad. August 26. 1810


It is the privelige & the duty of every citizen of the United States to communicate With the officers of Government both legislative & executive respecting the public Welfare, & more especially for those Who Are much in public themselves & have a hearty & tender concern for their country. The presidency especially is a high, peculiarly important & responsible office & needs all possible assistance from every quarter to help & encourage in times of need.

Our chief magistrate has an ardu[o]us & difficult station at the present time & it is extremely difficult to know in what manner to proceed for the best. The extraordinary avar[i]ce of many has driven them to a course which has brought us to shame, danger, & loss every Way. Perhaps the experiment made by these gentlemen Will cure their temerity & unite them With the real friends to their country. It Would seem like infatuation to attempt fighting all the World. I have thought that the plan1 proposed to the public last Winter Was Wise & most eligible; that is As soon as possible to have formed an Armed neutrality by sea of all European powers &c &c for defence against the tyrants of the Ocean & disturbers of the peace of the World. Such league in part was formed in the Years ’77 & ’78 with great eclat of Congress—Gen. Washington & the American Army. There can be no objection Against this now more than Was then, & it terminated Well & much in our favour & we have more need now than ever of this. Those Against Whom We so long fought & who are now as inimical as ever engross our trade by compulsion & in their own way & at their own rates. The Quantum of price we receive from them is not half of what would be given by the Europian nations. I hope You enjoy good health. You have the best Wishes of all real Americans nay of all the citizens of the United States except a few in comparison who are selfish, unprincipled & care for no country; Against Whom Divivine [sic] providence ever has militated & we trust heaven Will ever oppose—believe me to be with high esteem ever yours

George Luckey

RC (DLC). Postmarked Baltimore, 6 Sept.

1Luckey was probably referring to the schemes of armed neutrality advocated by William Duane, both in his correspondence with JM and in the columns of the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser (see Duane to JM, 1 Dec. 1809; Aurora General Advertiser, 14 Dec. 1809).

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