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To James Madison from George Luckey, 8 December 1812

From George Luckey

Harford Decr. 8. 1812

Dear President

Many strange & unexpected things have happened since I received Your last favour.1 The present period is eventful. The United States have enjoyed peace liberty & safety longer than is common for nations. Luxury & its concomitant evils have followed, & the most high would deal With us otherwise than he has dealt With nations, if he does not bring us low; to humiliation & repentence; or destruction, if the people will not hear & obey.

A Theologist would say of our times; as happened at the redeemers first coming; there should be wars & rumours of wars; so we look for the same before he comes to reign on the earth a thousand Years—the last effort of the crooked serpent in Wars & cruelty will be his worst: We do not know how long it may be permitted; but soon republicanism the form of government sent from heaven shall take place every where & glory fill our land. In the mean time let us do our duty. Israel was not delivered without fighting many hard battles & were often defeated thro the want of reliance on the God of battles. Go on in so good a cause & prosper, You have all the men of real Virtue & religion on Your side. I congratulate our country on your re-election. As far as man can see, an happy event! Republicans lovers of their country & liberty are three fourths of the people—Are determined to remain free or perish in the ruins of their country. Our intestine enemies have ever proved themselves pusillanimous; may we go forth With the sword of the Lord, & of the United States—the Lord reigns—he being our shield We are in safety. With esteem & regard; ever Yours

George Luckey

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC docketed by JM. The enclosure is a three-page tract in Luckey’s hand, entitled “Maxims in politicks,” in which he described the dangers inherent in “Kingly government” and explained the advantages of a republican system. He described the threat to republicanism posed by a “predominant spirit in the people of dictating to their rulers, & discontentment from a presumption that every man knows better than the ruling power” and posited that the current troubles of the U.S. “arise from impatience of moral restraint & giving loose reins to the Vitious desires of degenerate man.” Luckey concluded: “No nation will long be in peace & enjoy liberty, where the bulk of the people do not suitably regard christianity.”

1Letter not found, but it may have been a response to Luckey’s 1 Apr. 1812 letter to JM (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (5 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 4:284).

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