James Madison Papers

James Madison to Baron Alexander von Humboldt, 12 March 1833

March 12. 1833—

Will you permit me, my dear Baron, after such an oblivious lapse of time, to recall myself to you by a few lines introducing Professor Hoffman, who fills with distinguished qualifications the Chair of Law in the University of Maryland. He is about to take a look at Europe; and will be particularly gratified by an opportunity of paying his respects to one, whose fruitful genius, philosophical researches, & moral excellencies, have given him so high a rank every where, among the benefactors of science and humanity.

Mr Hoffman will be able to give you, whatever information may be desired, concerning his own country, in the destinies of which you have taken a philanthropic interest. You intimated once, that the unscrutinized Region of which it makes a part, offered physical attractions to another voyage across the Atlantic. To those wd. now be added a different one in the effect of our political Institutions, in a period of twenty years, on our National growth features and Condition. There may be little hope now, that a fulfilment of your original intention, would be compatible with the many interesting demands on your time else where. I can only assure you therefore, that, on a more favorable supposition, you wd. no where be welcomed by more general gratulations than among the Citizens of the U. States; [?] that if the contingency should fall within the short span of life remaining to me, I shall be second to none of them in the sincerity of mine.

Mrs Madison not having forgotten the pleasure afforded by the few social days passed at Washington, begs to be joined in the homage and all the good wishes which I pray you to accept.

J. M.


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