James Madison Papers

Nicholas Biddle to James Madison, 27 May 1827

Phila. May 27 1827

Dear Sir,

I have deferred answering your favor of the 17th inst until I could ascertain whether the Society is possessed of a copy of the Report on the subject of the revised code. I find that it is not among our collections, & I shall therefore be much gratified, as will be the whole Society, if you can conveniently furnish a copy.

I thank you very sincerely for the correction of the two errors into which I have fallen in regard first to Mr Jefferson’s age, & secondly as to his share in the revised code. The former is easily rectified being a mere inadvertence. The latter I regret because it has the air of appropriating to Mr Jefferson some portion of the merit due to others, an act unjust in itself & not at all necessary to swell the list of his services. It was however the result of a very honest ignorance. I was misled by an expression of Mr Wirt to whom I naturally looked in a question touching the legislation of Virginia, & who remarked in his Discourse that Mr Jefferson "with the aid of Pendleton & Wythe" had made certain changes &c. & finding in some other quarter the fact that one of the Committee had died & the other resigned I inferred that those two were Messrs Pendleton & Wythe & that Mr Jefferson was left alone. I shall have an opportunity of rectifying the mistake, & am much indebted to you for enabling me to do so. In the meantime I remain with the highest respect & regard yrs very truly

N Biddle

RC (DLC); FC (PHi: Nicholas Biddle Papers). RC docketed by JM.

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