James Madison Papers

From James Madison to an Unidentified Correspondent, 25 November 1818

To an Unidentified Correspondent

Montpellier Novr. 25. 1818


I recd. a few days ago a little package of Talavera Wheat sent from Washington by the gentleman* to whose care it was entrusted by you. It was immediately put into the ground, and will have all the advantages allowed by the lateness of the Season, which will necessarily expose it not only to the frosts of winter but to the greater danger from the Hessian fly incident to its feebler state in the Spring. I take for granted that the reserve in your own hands, and probably in others, will have been sown under all the circumstances favorable to its successful experiment. With my thanks for this mark of attention, be pleased to accept my friendly respects.

James Madison

RC (ViU). The person to whom JM addressed this letter and who sent the wheat to him, was possibly Elkanah Watson, or someone associated with him. Watson had received a cask of Talavera wheat from England in April 1818 and distributed it among his acquaintances in various agricultural societies throughout the state of New York (Cooperstown, N.Y., Watch-Tower, 27 Apr. 1818).

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

* I have not been able to let him know that the wheat came safe to hand; some of the letters in his name not being made out.

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