James Madison Papers

James Madison to George W. Featherstonhaugh, 11 March 1826

Montpellier Mar. 11. 1826

Dear Sir

I have duly received your Note of the 25 ult: and the Volume of Agricultural Memoirs forwarded with it. You have been very kind in repeating such a favor notwithstanding the failure on my part of any compensating returns for preceding ones. The Albemarle Society has not yet published any similar collection of papers. And as for myself; time is fast stealing from me, what I hope you will long retain, the activity necessary for agricultural pursuits. This consideration added to the distance of the Meeting place of the Society, has obliged me to withdraw from the presiding Office with which I had been honoured, that it might be filled with a more competent successor.

On casting an eye over the Memoirs, enough of useful matter presents itself to excite regret that they are the last offering to be expected from the same source. I observe in them a proof that on the question so much agitated concerning the rival breeds of Cattle, you continue to side with the patrons of the Short Horns; and for reasons which appear to be very cogent. With us, there are no opportunities of making the proper comparisons; owing partly to the inferiority of our climate for grazing Husbandry; but much also, to a general backwardness in rural improvements. Being myself an advocate for putting the ox as much as possible, in place of the Horse, and even the Mule, for draught service, I feel a great esteem for the breeds most fitted for it.

Repeating my acknowledgment of the Obligations you have laid me under, I beg leave to renew at the same time assurances of my cordial esteem & best wishes

James Madison

RC (owned by Alvin R. Kantor, Glencoe, Ill., ); draft (DLC).

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