Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 14 June 1795

From James Madison

Orange June 14. 1795

Dear Sir

I am almost ashamed to be so late in acknowledging your favor of april 27: but, saying nothing of some unknown cause of its not getting to hand till two weaks or more after its date, I have been in constant expectation and intention of paying my respects in person to Monticello within two or three days, and consequently of explaining and justifying my purposes better than it could be done by letter. A succession of incidents has as constantly delayed any visit, till the time has arrived for fulfilling a promised one to a particular relation of Mrs. M. in Hanover about 50 Miles distant. I am the more anxious to have this over, as the season will soon be unsafe in that quarter, and the harvest will require my presence. As soon after my return as possible I will indulge myself with the pleasure of seeing you. I have lately received a letter from Monroe of Feby. 25. which he wishes you to see and I shall bring with me. A prior one also of very interesting contents will be also worth your perusal. I have heard nothing yet from Philada. relating to the tenor of the Treaty with G.B.1 Just about the close of the Session I wrote a coercive letter to Dohrman on the subject of his debt to Mazzei. He answered that he was, just on the receipt of it, about to let me know that the success of some of his efforts would soon enable him to close the business. My departure obliged me to put it into the hands of Beckley who was going to N.Y. from whom I learn that D. suspends the payment till a liquidation of the debt can be made, but with an apparent ability and purpose to avoid any delay beyond that. It seems that D. has receipts for past payments to Mazzei subsequent to his deed of Trust to me, and alledges with some probable reason that the sum in the deed was not the real amount of the debt but a round one fully covering and securing the maximum. There are some points also relating to the rate of damages and interest on the protested bills, on which there may be room for negociation. As well as I recollect both were to be settled according to the laws of N.Y. not of Virginia,2 whether binding in the case or not, in consideration of the indulgence shewn him. I have urged a payment immediately of as much as may be due according to his own shewing, but have received no answer.3 I have several little things for you as your seal &c. with a few pamphlets. Among the latter is a fugitive publication answering the misrepresentations of the Session prior to the last. It was extorted by the intreaties of some friends, just at the close of the Session, under a surfiet of politics, and contains about half what was sketched and meant for the press; the nausea of the subject and other circumstances have left the remainder unfinished. I shall bring these articles with me when I pay my visit. Yrs. always & affecy.

Js. Madison Jr

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 June 1795 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (Facsimile in Gary Hendershott Catalogue, March 1992, Lot 10); extract entirely in TJ’s hand, consisting of seven sentences containing variations in spelling and punctuation and one change (see notes below); at head of text: “Extract of a letter from James Madison to Th: Jefferson dated June 14. 1795. Orange”; enclosed in TJ to Philip Mazzei, 8 Sep. 1795. Tr (DLC: Nicholas P. Trist Papers); extract made by Trist in January 1828, consisting of three sentences (see note 3 below); conjoined to extracts of Madison to TJ, 23 Mch. 1795 and 5 Dec. 1796.

Both the letter from Monroe to Madison of 25 Feb. 1795 and a prior one of 18 Feb. 1795 enclosed a copy of James Monroe’s letter to Edmund Randolph, 12 Feb. 1795, which Monroe expressly desired Madison to show to TJ (Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xv, 477, 482). His letter to Randolph was a response to the Secretary of State’s letter of 2 Dec. 1794 in which he severely criticized Monroe’s conduct upon arrival in France (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, i, 689–90, 694–5).

Madison’s coercive letter to Arnold Henry Dohrman of 20 Mch. 1795 has not been found. He answered: Dohrman to Madison, 24 Mch. 1795 (Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xv, 494–5). For the progress of the case in the hands of Beckley, see John Beckley to Madison, 25 May 1795 (same, xvi, 9–10).

Fugitive publication: Madison’s Political Observations, a pamphlet dated 20 Apr. 1795 and published anonymously, probably in New York (TJ’s copy is in DLC: Rare Book and Special Collections Division; with “by James Madison” written by TJ below the title; contains corrections in an unidentified hand; printed in Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xv, 511–34). See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3177; Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xvi, 10, 12. TJ received another copy of the pamphlet from Madison in 1823 after sharing his correspondence with William Johnson, a justice of the United States Supreme Court who had been appointed by TJ and who contemplated writing a history of political parties, a work TJ encouraged as a corrective to the Federalist views of Chief Justice John Marshall. “It had the advantage of being written with the subject full and fresh in my mind” Madison recalled of his tract, “and the disadvantage of being hurried, at the close of a fatiguing Session of Congress by an impatience to return home, from which I was detained by that Job only. The temper of the pamphlet is explained if not excused by the excitements of the period” (TJ to Johnson, 4 Mch., 12 June 1823; TJ to Madison, 13 June 1823; Madison to TJ, 27 June 1823).

1Tr in TJ’s hand begins with the next sentence.

2In his Tr, TJ inserted an asterisk above the first letter of this word.

3Tr in TJ’s hand ends here. The Trist extract consists of the next three sentences.

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