James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Henry Dearborn, 8 August 1813

To Henry Dearborn


Washington Aug. 8. 1813

Dear Sir

I have recd yours of the 24. July. As my esteem and regard have undergone no change, I wish you to be apprized that such was the state of .things, and such the turn they were taking, that the retirement which is the subject of your letter, was pressed by your best personal friends. It was my purpose to have written to you on the occasion, but it was made impossible by a severe illness, from which I am now barely eno’ recovered for a journey to the mountains prescribed by my physicians as indispensable. It would have been entirely agreeable to me, if as I took for granted was to be the case, you had executed your original intention of providing for your health, by exchanging the sickliness of Niagara, for some eligible spot. And I sincerely lament every pain to which you have been subsequently exposed, from whatever circumstance it has proceeded. How far the investigation you refer to would be regular, I am not prepared to say. You have seen the motion in the House of Representatives comprehending such an object, and the prospect held out of resuming the subject at another Session.1 I am persuaded that you will not lose in any respect by the effect of time & truth. ⟨Accept my respects & best wishes

Signed James Madison⟩

RC (MHi); FC (DLC); Tr (MeHi). Complimentary close and signature, clipped from the RC, have been supplied within angle brackets from the FC. RC bears a note in an unknown hand: “Signed James Madison.” Minor differences between the RC and Tr have not been noted.

1JM referred to a resolution introduced by Stephen Row Bradley of Vermont on 9 July 1813, “That a committee be appointed to inquire into the causes which have led to the multiplied failures of the arms of the United States on our Western and Northwestern frontier, and that the committee be authorized to send for persons and papers.” After several members of the House expressed support for the measure in general but opposed its adoption so near the end of the session, it was tabled (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 13th Cong., 1st sess., 413–21). A report of the debate was published in the Daily National Intelligencer on 12 July 1813.

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