James Madison Papers

James Madison to Nicholas Van Zandt, 31 October 1826

Ocr. 31. 1826

I have just received Sir, your letter of Octr. 28. inclosing a copy of your Bill in Chancery and very sincerely sympathise in the distresses which led to it; the more so, as to other motives, it adds the personal sentiments it expressd towards me. I cannot but regret at the same time, that it has been thought advisable to make me, in any manner a party, in the pursuit of your claim <on> Mr Cutts—You will not be surprized at this regret, when I state that the purchase of Property I made of the Bank, was a bonafide one on my own account; that I wa<s> from the beginning personally bound for payment; and am still so, for the unpaid balance; that the property purchased, will be as absolutely mine if the title of the Bank be good as the House in which I dwell; and that neither Mr Cutts, nor Mrs. Cutts have or ever had in it the smallest right or interest: actual or eventual, in law or in equity; or even by any mutual understanding, express or tacit. And I might add if it could be necessary; that Mr Cutts has long been and still is a debtor to me. If these facts receive the confidence due to them, it is not perceived that any possible advantage can be expected for the continuance of my name as a defendant or witness in the judicial proceedings to which you have resorted.

With respect to the furniture secured by a Trust to Mrs Cutts, what I have to say is, that it was purchased with a benevolent fund over which her Husband never had any controul whatever legal or equitable. I must say also on another point, that I have no knowledge that it was even signified by Mr Cutts, as supposed, that he owed you nothing. I have lost no time in giving this answer to your communication in the hope that it will correct whatever errors may have related to me, and relieve me from a situation unavailing to you, and the more unpleasant, as being so new a one, to me.

I shall apprise Mr. Cutts of your having furnished me with a copy of your Bill and of my having answered <the> communication.

FC (NjP: Crane Collection); draft (DLC).

Index Entries