James Madison Papers

James Madison to Henry Lee, 24 September 1827

Montpellier Sepr. 24. 1827


Your letter of Augst 24 was not recd. till a few days ago. I regret that I can not throw a ray of light on the cause and circumstances of the delay which attended the order to Genl. Jackson of July 18. 1814; having no recollections enabling me to do so; nor access to any document if there be any, that could assist them. I can only therefore express my wish that the occurrence may be traced with a result leaving no escape to the authors, nor room for suspicions where they would be unjust. It is unfortunate that the lapse of time, and intervening deaths, may increase the difficulty of a satisfactory investigation.

It can not be necessary, I trust, to remark that the hypothetical references, cited from a letter of the then Secretary of War, to a quarter and a motive for the delay in question, is stamped with an incredibility forming a sufficient antidote to the insinuation.

The two campaigns of which it seems you are preparing a history, merit certainly the best & most authentic materials. My memory does not suggest any particularly bearing on them which are not likely to fall within the range of your researches. As a source itself of information, I am too well aware of the fallibility from which it is not exempt to recommend draughts on it. With friendly respects

James Madison

Draft (DLC).

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