James Madison Papers

James Madison to Thomas Ritchie, 24 May 1830

Montpr. May 24th. 1830

J. Madison with his respects to Mr. R. remarks that a Marginal note in the Enquire[r] of the 18th. infers from the pages of Helvidius, that J.M. solemnly protested agst. the Proclamation of Neutrality," as it has been called. The Protest was not agst. the Proclamation, but agst. the Executive Prerogative, attempted to be engrafted on it in the publication of Pacificus to which that of Helvidius was an answer. The latter [ ] the proclamation in its true construction. There was nothing therefore in the Protest adverse to the act of Genl. Washington or the participation of Mr. Jefferson in it. If Mr. R. on recurring to Helvidius, particularly the introductory & last letter, should be satisfied that an error has been committed, he will of course correct it; which may be done without reference to the suggestion of J. M. who does not wish to obtrude unnecessarily public explanations, leaving room for erroneous inferences from silence in other cases.

Draft (DLC).

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