To Clara Baldwin Bomford
Montpellier Sepr. 8. 1822
J Madison with his best respects & many thanks returns Mrs Bomford’s manuscript copy of the History of Arnold’s plot by Mr. Marbois,1 which has been so long detained for want of a good conveyance. He had erroneously supposed that the history contained some incidental mention of Napoleon’s motives for parting with Louisiana to the U.S. with which Mr. Marbois must have been particularly acquainted, having been the negociator of the Treaty.2 J.M. is still under an impression that Mrs. B. possessed some paper from Mr. Marbois which related to that subject. Should this be the case J.M. will take as an additional kindness a communication of it, if no objection be felt to it.
RC (NjP: Crane Collection); draft (DLC). Addressee not indicated on RC or draft; assigned based on the description of the RC for sale in Walter R. Benjamin, the Collector (1949), No. 682, item 531, as an autograph letter, signed, dated Montpelier, 8 Sept. 1822: “To Mrs. Bumford, returning a manuscript copy of Marbois’ ‘History of Arnolds’s plot.’ ” Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.
1. For this volume, see JM to Richard Cutts, 12 Oct. 1817, 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 1:139–40 and n. 2.
2. The remaining part of the sentence that begins “with which Mr. Marbois must have been particularly acquainted …” was omitted from the draft.