To Thomas Mann Randolph
Montpellier Feby. 1. 1820
The writer of the inclosed letter1 has thought proper to pass it to you thro’ my hands. My acquaintance with him is of the most accidental & transient kind. It justifies me however in believing him to have personal worth, as well as respectable connections. Of the degree of his eccentricity you can be best informed by the two Engineers who are from his neighbourhood.
I recd. lately the inclosed newspaper from Judge Peters.2 ⟨Per⟩haps you may think it worth while to engage Mr. Richie to republish the remarks on Hemp & Flax, when the Enquirer can conveniently spare room for them. I have seen a sample of the flax prepared in the mode & by the machinery referred to, which almost equalled Silk in its glossy fineness. With my best wishes accept Dear Sir assurances of my cordial esteem & regard.
RC (NjP); Tr (ViW). RC docketed by Randolph as received 7 Feb.
1. The enclosure has not been found, but it was James B. Pleasants’s letter to JM of 15 Jan. 1820, PJM-RS description begins David B. Mattern et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Retirement Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 2009–). description ends 1:586–87.
2. JM probably enclosed a copy of the 6 Jan. 1820 Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, which printed a 1 Jan. 1820 letter from Richard Peters, covering an essay entitled “Hints of the Advantages of Cultivating and Preparing Hemp and Flax.” There is no evidence that the piece was reprinted in the Richmond Enquirer.