James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from James Monroe, [ca. 6] April 1824

From James Monroe

Washington [ca. 6] April 1824

Dear Sir

Mr. Livingston intimated to me some time since, his desire to hold with you and Mr. Jefferson, the same relation which he held in 1798.,1 & that I would communicate that sentiment to you on his part, & apprize him of the result.

I think that I informd you that Mr Conway had been appointed to a land office in Alabama.

Having communicated to Mr. Jefferson, the views taken in the admn., respecting the claim of Virga, to the payment of the interest, paid by her for monies borrowed & paid to the militia in the late war,2 I add nothing on that subject in this to you, as you will be together. To my letter to him also, I refer you for information respecting a mov’ment of the Georgia members, towards the Executive, in regard to its conduct, in execution of the 4th art: of the compact enterd into in 1802, whereby the UStates bound themselves to extinguish the Indian right, to lands within the limits of that State.3 You will I think be astonishd when you see their letter. Such an one I never receivd either in my public or private character. I deemd it proper, to communicate it, with other documents, to Congress, in a late message,4 on the subject of the compact generally, but without specially noticing the letter. I gave them an opportunity, through Mr. Crawford, who was ignorant of the proceeding, to withdraw it, which they refused.

I sent to Mr. Jefferson a copy of the message respecting the Massachusetts claims,5 & shall forward one to you in Orange by the next mail. It is my opinion, that the Southern members ought to take the lead in sustaining it, being thoroughly satisfied, that it will not only, give a strong & powerful support to the republican party in that & all the Eastern States, but contribute much to the support of our institutions. If our southern people, will act with magnanimity on the occasion, it will render any further attempts, by artful leaders, to annoy us, on the principle of Slave population, as in the Missouri question, vain and abortive.

Mr. Cabell is well acquainted with the state of affrs here & to him I refer you for further details. Your friend

James Monroe

RC (DLC). Day of month not indicated; conjectural day assigned based on JM’s acknowledgment of this letter in his reply to Monroe of 10 Apr. 1824.

1JM, Thomas Jefferson, and Edward Livingston had co-operated in attacking Federalist policies in the 1790s but had become estranged over the Batture controversy. The Jefferson administration in 1807–8, had challenged, on behalf of the United States, Edward Livingston’s claims to alluvial riverfront land in New Orleans. Livingston filed suit against Jefferson in 1810 to reclaim the land, and as the lengthy court case played out, JM was involved as an advisor to Jefferson, both as a former member of his administration and as his friend (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 2:33–34 and n. 5, 357 n. 2, 472, 473 n. 1; see also Notes on Jefferson’s “Statement” on the Batture at New Orleans, ca. 12 Aug. 1810, ibid., 475–76 and nn.).

2Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 6 Apr. 1824 (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Monroe informed Jefferson that the administration had denied Virginia’s request to be paid interest on the money the state had borrowed and paid to its militia during the War of 1812 but that the claim should be presented to Congress.

3Monroe noted that during his administration, and those of Jefferson and JM, the United States had acquired a great deal of land from Indian cessions and that he had always intended to “press the object, with much zeal, & as I thought in harmony, with the delegation from the State, looking to the claims of humanity as well as of right on the part of the Indians, when on an earnest remonstrance, from a deputation of the Cherokee nation here, against further cessions, … which was communicated to the members from the State, they addressed to me a letter replete with … reproaches, expressed in the harshest language, against the conduct of the Executive in the execution of that article of the compact, from its date” (ibid.) For more on the 1802 agreement between Georgia and the United States, see JM to Jefferson, 26 Apr. 1802, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (10 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 3:160, 160–61 nn. 1-3

4Message from the President of the U.S., Transmitting Certain Papers Relating to the Compact between the United States & the State of Georgia, of 1802, &c. (Washington, 1824; Shoemaker description begins Richard H. Shoemaker, comp., A Checklist of American Imprints for 1820–1829 (11 vols.; New York, 1964–72). description ends 18915).

5Message from the President of the U.S., Transmitting Certain Documents Relating to the Claim of the State of Massachusetts, for Services Rendered by the Militia of That State, during the Late War with Great Britain (Washington, 1824; Shoemaker description begins Richard H. Shoemaker, comp., A Checklist of American Imprints for 1820–1829 (11 vols.; New York, 1964–72). description ends 18912).

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