James Madison Papers

James Madison to Edward Everett, 3 June 1827

Montpellier June 3. 1827

Dear Sir

I offer for your brother and yourself the thanks I owe for the copy of his work on "America." It well sustains the reputation for talents and learning acquired by his former work on "Europe." I have found in the volume many proofs of original as well as enlarged views, and not a few passages of glowing eloquence. With this just tribute I must be allowed to combine the remark, that my trains of thought do not accord with some of his speculations, and that the work is susceptible of improved accuracy from recesses of information which time is gradually laying open. One error into which the Author has been led, will I am sure be gladly corrected. In page 109. it is said of Washington that he—"appears to have wavered for a moment in making up his mind upon the Constitution." I can testify from my personal knowledge, that no member of the Convention appeared to sign the Instrument with more cordiality than he did, nor to be more anxious for its ratification. I have indeed the most thorough conviction from the best evidence, that he never wavered in the part he took in giving it his sanction and support. The error may perhaps have arisen from his backwardness in accepting his appointment to the Convention, occasioned by peculiar considerations which may be seen in the 5th. volume of his Biographer.

Is there no danger that your brother may render himself an unwelcome Functionary at Madrid by his strictures on Spain &c? I pray you to accept, Sir, the expression of my cordial esteem

James Madison

RC (MHi: Everett Collection); FC (DLC). On FC "[Marshall]" is added above "Biographer" by JM.

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