Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 22 June 1812

From James Madison

June 22. 1812

Dear Sir

The inclosed letter was sent to me with a request that I wd forward it. The reason assigned was, that the one of which it is a duplicate, was presumed to have miscarried, no answer to it having been recd. An answer will of course be expected.

I inclose a Paper containing the Declaration of war &c. merely to supply a possible miscarriage of others usually recd by you. It is understood that the Federalists in Congs are to put all the strength of their talents into a protest agst the war, and that the party at large are to be brought out in all their force.

It is impossible to say what effect will follow the assassination of Percival . In England it is doubted whether there will be a successor of the same kidney; whether Wellesley will be the man, with some modifications, not affecting the Character of the Cabinet; or whether he will be allowed to make one for himself, in which case it is supposed, he will bring in the Fox party. All this will depend on the Prince, who it seems is ruled at present by Lady Herbert, who at the age of 60 years, has some secret fascination for his vitiated caprice.

Yrs affecy

James Madison

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); endorsed by TJ as a letter received from Washington on 24 June 1812 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Elbridge Gerry to TJ, 1 May 1812.

Knowing that TJ usually received the Washington National Intelligencer, Madison might have sent the 20 June 1812 issue stating that war was declared between the United States and Great Britain. On 8 June 1812 the prince regent appointed Lord Liverpool to be Spencer Perceval’s successor as British prime minister. By lady herbert Madison may have conflated Isabella Anne Ingram Conway, 2d Marchioness of Hertford (1760–1834), and Maria Anne Fitzherbert (1756–1837), the legally unrecognized wife of the future George IV. Neither woman was 60 years old at the time, but Lady Hertford’s political influence over the prince regent was widely known (ODNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries

  • Federalist party; J. Madison on search
  • Fitzherbert, Maria Anne search
  • George, Prince Regent (later George IV, king of Great Britain); as Prince of Wales search
  • Hertford, Isabella Anne Ingram Conway, 2d marchioness of search
  • Holland, Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3d Baron search
  • Liverpool, Robert Jenkinson, 2d Earl of; as prime minister search
  • Madison, James; and declaration of war search
  • Madison, James; letters from search
  • Perceval, Spencer; assassination of search
  • Wellesley, Richard Wellesley, Marquess; British foreign minister search