James Madison Papers
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James Madison to James Monroe, 26 March 1829

Montpellier Mar. 26. 1829

Dear Sir

Yours of the 24th. just recd. has relieved us from the great anxiety we were suffering from the rumours of your illness. We had heard of the accident from your horse, but had also of your recovery from it. Mr. Giles makes use of the Hudibrastic gun, which does most harm by its recoil, it is said; with this difference indeed, that his cartridges being blank, the only possible effect, in the present as in your case, would be a startling report. My letters to Mr. C. not being prepared for the press, but for an intelligent friend, capable of seizing the true meaning at once, and developing it where requisite, was exposed by a brevity in some instances, to captious and sophistical comments which might have been obviated by a few explanatory additions.

I know not of the origin of the paragraph saying that I had declined being brought into view for the Convention. I had certainly never said anything authorizing such a publication; tho’ I might with sincerity have alluded to considerations disinclining me to such a service. On Monday morning last, I was called on by the 4 Delegates from Louisa to a District meeting to nominate candidates, and of course obliged to say yes or no on the question. On tuesday I recd. a written communication from the meeting which was answered as you will, doubtless, see in the newspaper. My assent was given very reluctantly; but under the circumstances of the case I could not well refuse it. After all, my letters on the Tariff, have made me such a heretic in this quarter, that it is possible I may have the credit of being willing to accept the service, without the onerous performance of it. You can not avail yourself of the plea for holding back which I might have done; and I can assure you, that my confidence that I was following your example, had great weight with me. I am justified therefore the more in claiming from you some regard for mine.

Mrs. Madison & myself are as usual in point of health. We hope that both Mrs. Monroe’s & yours are by this time re-established, and that the result of its interruption, as sometimes happens will be a lasting improvement of it. Accept our joint wishes for your joint happiness In great haste.

James Madison

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers); draft (DLC).

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