James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Horatio Gates Spafford, 7 January 1811

From Horatio Gates Spafford

Albany, N. Y., 1 Mo. 7. 1811.

Hond. & Esteemed Friend—

I ought, perhaps, to apologize, for troubling thee with a subject of so little direct concern to thyself, as that I am now about to propose, for thy consideration.

The details, which the 3rd Census will afford, aught to be embodied, in a Volume of convenient size, & published for general use; & unless some other person shall have effected this previous to next 6 Mo., (June,) I contemplate proposing to do it. At about that time, I can repair to Washington for that purpose; & if the public officers encourage my doing so, I shall certainly do it, unless it be likely to interfere with the intentions of some other person.

Had I not thoughts of removing to Washington, I should certainly not contemplate a journey thither, solely on account of gaining access to the public records & papers collected by the late Census. But I have in contemplation to fix my residence there, after I shall have published the Gazetteer of this State;1 & to prosecute my plan of authentick Gazetteers of the several States, & of the United States.

If thou canst find time to favor me with thy advice on these subjects, thou wilt confer a great favor. And I should be gratified if my friend Dr. S. L. Mitchill, were also consulted; & to whom I refer thee for any information relative to myself, on which to ground thy advice. With sentiments of gratitude & esteem, thy friend,

H. G. Spafford.

Of whom am I to get permission, to send a small packet to some Correspondents in France & England, in the next Vessel that sails under the protection of Government? Or can I get such permission?

H. G. Spafford.


1See PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (3 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:413–14, 436 n. 2.

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