James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 15 November 1823

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello Nov. 15. [1823]

Dear Sir

I return your letter to the President, and that of mr. Rush to you, with thanks for the communication. The matters1 which mr. Rush states as under consideration with the British government are very interesting. But that about the navigation of the St. Laurence and the Missisipi, I would rather they would let alone. The navigation of the former, since the N.Y. canal, is of too little interest to be cared about, that of the latter too serious, on account of the inlet it would give to British smugling, and British tampering with the Indians. It would be an entering wedge to incalculable mischief, a powerful agent towards separating the states.

I send you the rough draught of the letter I propose to write to F. Gilmer2 for your considn. and correction, and salute you affectionately

Th: Jefferson

RC (CSmH); draft (DLC: Jefferson Papers). RC year not indicated; supplied from draft. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.

1In the draft Jefferson placed an asterisk here and at the foot of the page wrote the following: “*to wit. 1. our commercial intercourse embracing navign of St. Laurence & Misipi 2. suppression of slave trade 3. Northern boundary 4. fisheries on W. coast of N. F land 5. points of maritime law 6. Russian Ukase as to N. W. coast of America.”

2Jefferson to Francis Walker Gilmer, 25 Nov. 1823 (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

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