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To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 20 December 1800

From James Madison

Orange Decr. 20. 1800

Dear Sir

I did not write to you from Richmond, because I was considerably indisposed during my stay there, & because I could communicate to you nothing that would not reach you with equal speed through other channels. Before I left that place, the choice of electors in S. Carolina, had been recd. by the Govr. in a letter from Col. Hampton, and was understood by all parties to fix the event of a Republican President. The manner in which the Electors have voted in that State, in Va. Maryland, Penna. & N.Y. makes it probable that the V.P. will also be republican. If the States of Georgia N.C. Tene. & Kentucky, should follow these examples it will even devolve on the H. of Reps. to make the discrimination. There can be no danger I presume but that in such an event a proper one will be made; but it is more desireable that it should be precluded by the foresight of some of the Electors. Gilston of N.Y. assures me, that there are two if not three States in which something to this effect may be looked for, but he does not name the States. Govr. Davie passd. thro’ Richd. whilst I was there. I happened not to see him however, nor did I learn from others what complexion he seemed disposed to give to the business of his mission. It was my intention to send by you my subscription money for Lyon, as well as Smith, and my memory leaves me at a loss whether I did so or not. I rather suspect that it was not done. Will you be so good as to recollect & let me know; and if it be in no respect out of your way, you will further oblige me by making the advance to him for me. It shall be replaced as soon as possible. He was promised that the sum 5 dollars should be forwarded by you, and the disappt. may be as inconvenient to him as disagreeable to me. I observe an answr. to Hamilton’s pamphlet by a Citizen of N. York, as advertized in Washington. If this be not the piece published in the Aurora under the name of Aristedes, I would thank you for a Copy. I recd. a copy of H’s pamphlet lately under cover from Mr. Steele. My Rheumatic complaint has sensibly increased on me of late. I am trusting for a remedy to temperance & flannel. Wishing you an exemption from the like & all other evils I remain

Dr. Sir. Yrs. affecy.

Js. Madison Jr.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 25 Dec. and so recorded in SJL.

Gilston of N.Y.: David Gelston wrote to Madison on 21 Nov. that “three States, two at least, will give Mr. J.—3 or more Votes, more than Mr B. will have” (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 28 vols. description ends , 17:438).

For the subscription money for James Lyon, see Lyon to TJ, 29 Nov. and TJ to Madison, 26 Dec. 1800. TJ recorded in his financial records a payment of $5 to “J. Lyon one year’s subscription for the Cabinet” (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1031).

Answr. to Hamilton’s pamphlet: An Answer to Alexander Hamilton’s Letter, concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States (New York, 1800; Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends No. 36844) was signed “A Citizen of New York” and attributed to James Cheetham, a hatter from Manchester, England, who was a part-owner of the New York Argus and a member of the liberal Constitutional Society (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 25:181; Bishop James Madison to TJ, 1 Nov. 1800).

The piece published in the Aurora, “A letter to General Hamilton, Occasioned by his letter to President Adams. By a Federalist,” which was signed “Aristides” and attributed to Noah Webster, appeared on 5 Nov. It was also published as a pamphlet under the same title in New York in 1800 (see Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends No. 39045; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 25:179).

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