James Madison Papers

James Madison to Levett Harris, 29 March 1826

March. 29. 1826

Dr Sir

I have recd yours of the 21st. inclosing a copy of your correspondence with J. P. Todd, and referring to expressions in mine of Feby. 24.

The correspondence accords pretty much wth. my inferences from your former letters. With respect to the expressions, I must explain them by saying that I regarded the transaction in its origin, unfortunate to both the parties, blameable also in one of them, and to be regretted at least in the other. Indiscretions of the younger & unsettled class of men, in the use of money, are so common, that in cases, not < > advantageously, there may be more of friendship in declining applications for large sums, than in yielding to them. Still having no reason to doubt the entire friendliness of the motive in this case, I have indulged no feeling beyond that of regret.

Of the progress of the transaction into the appeal to the law, I wish not to speak with any derogation from the anxiety, naturally produced in a Creditor, by a pecuniary stake of considerable amount. What occurred to me was, that where the appeal was not likely to have any other result, than an alternative between a personal custody and a plea of insolvency, the measure was particularly unfortunate to the debtor, without any tendency to improve the prospect of the Creditor. I will not dwell however, on a subject, wch. has no aspect that can make it agreeable, repeating only my friendly respects & good wishes

J. M

Draft (DLC).

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