James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 23 July 1817

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello July 23. 17.

Dear Sir

The promptitude & success of our subscription paper, now amounting to upwards of 20,000. D. with a prospect much beyond that renders the decision immediately necessary of some important questions which I had thought might have laid over to our periodical meeting the last of September. Having an opportunity of writing to Genl. Cocke, I invited him to join me in a visit to you on Friday the 25th. I recd his answer last night, that he would do so and would try to bring mr. Cabell with him. Last night also an opportunity was offered me of sending a letter to mr. Watson. I do so; and he probably will be with you also. Thus the visit I had promised for my self singly to you on my return, is suddenly manufactured into a meeting of our visitors at Mon[t]pelier, te inconsulto.1 I do not know whether mr. Cabell & mr. Watson will certainly come, but Genl. Cocke & my self will be certainly with you on Friday, to dinner if we can get there by half after two; if not, we will dine at Gordon’s2 & be with you afterwards, therefore do not wait a moment for us. The illness of our principal driver will disappoint mrs. Randolph in the participation in the visit which she had much at heart. Affectionate esteem & respect to mrs. Madison & yourself.

Th. Jefferson

RC (NNPM: Gilder-Lehrman Collection); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1The meeting of the visitors took place on 28 July with JM, Jefferson, Joseph C. Cabell, and John Hartwell Cocke in attendance. For the proceedings of the meeting, see Minutes of the Board of Visitors of the Central College, 28 July 1817.

2Nathaniel Gordon was proprietor of a tavern at the crossroads of the Fredericksburg and Richmond roads from 1794 to 1820. The community that grew up around the tavern became present-day Gordonsville, Virginia (Miller, Antebellum Orange, 42).

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