James Madison Papers
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James Madison to Benjamin W. Leigh, 1 May 1836

Montpellier May 1st. 1836—

Dear Sir:

I Have received a copy of your speech on the 4th. & 5th. April, and on the supposition that I may be indebted for it, to your politeness, I tender my acknowledgments accordingly.

The increasing pressure of my infirmities has of late, rendered my attention to the public proceedings very superficial. To the expunging question I have paid very little. The views taken in your speech of some at least, of its branches would seem to be "sans replique." It is clear, I think, that a preservation of the original journals derive from their legal authenticity, and constant accessibility at a known spot, for public and private purposes, a peculiar value. The liability of printed copies to dispersion, if not entire loss, being inconvenient for research, if to be found at all. The late republication of the legislative journals of Virginia furnish examples of both. Those of one session were left a blank, and it was not without much difficulty, and delay, that the imperfect set was finally obtained. I pray you Sir, to accept with the assurance of my esteem, and best wishes.

James Madison

RC (ViU); FC (DLC).

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