James Madison Papers

Edward Coles to James Madison, 2 April 1836

Philadelphia April 2. 1836

My dear Sir,

The enclosed letter from Col: Ch: Todd was recd. to day. I have an imperfect recollection of the conversation as well as of the subject alluded to. I have however of certain remarks made by you at the time, & repeated frequently since, respecting Genl. Armstrong’s conduct on recieving the resignation of Gen’l Harrison, and as I have an impression on my mind that you noted the circumstances at this time, and might perhaps be gratified at an occasion to preserve the truth & correct any erroneous statements of Gen’l Armstrongs; I have determined to enclose for your perusal Col: Todds letter. But I wish you to understand it is not my wish to get you involved in the political disputes of the day—nor is it my intention to be so involved, especially in the approaching election of President, as my opinion on that subject is not yet formed; & if it was, I do not anticipate feeling sufficient interest in it to become an active partizan. I am only induced to submit the letter to you under the belief that it will gratifying to you for me to do so. If I am mistaken return it to me without comment—and I will write & inform Col: Todd That my recollections are not sufficiently good to enable me to furnish him a clear & satisfactory statement of what occurred, now upwards of 20 years ago. It is proper I should add, I have heard nothing of the intention of Gen’l Armstrong soon to publish for electioneering or other purposes his "Book," as Col: Todd calls it. My impression was that it would not be published till after his death.

We have not heard directly nor indirectly from you & Mrs. M. for a long time. We hope you both have retained your health through this long & very severe winter. It has been the most cold disagreeable & confining winters I recollect ever to have experienced. In addition to a disagreeable winter, my Wife had the misfortune to suffer under a long & painful indisposition. She was confined to the house about two months—& was for about three weeks very ill. I am happy to say she has now entirely recovered, & not only is, but looks as well as usual. Our dear little Daughter (who by the way is this day a year Old) has enjoyed uninterrupted good health, & has grown & improved astonishingly. She is not only considered an unusually stout and forward child, but to be remarkably good looking.

If I had time I should liked to have filled this sheet to you & Mrs. M.—but being anxious to send the enclosed letter as soon as possible, & having but little leisure to day, I am compelled to write you in great haste. Our best regards to you, Mrs. Madison, Payne, Ann, & her Father & his family.

(Signed) Ed: Coles

Copy and enclosure (ICHi); extract (NjP: Edward Coles Papers). Enclosure is a copy of Charles S. Todd to Coles, 22 Mar. 1836.

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