James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Tench Coxe, ca. 11 March 1817

To Tench Coxe

[ca. 11 March 1817]

Dear Sir

Your two favors of the 81 & 25 ult:2 were duly recd. The memoir in the former was put into the hands of Mr. Sampson3 who I found had both a personal & patriotic acquaintance with you, and who employed all his strength in pulling down the errors opposed to our Cotton Manufacturies. The paper in the other letter, was also communicated to him. The last under a blank cover was recd. too late to be made much use of. As those fruits of your attention to the important subject, will probably answer better purposes in your possession, than they can now do in mine, I return them; with my sincere wishes that your long and laudable exertions to inlighten our Citizens on the subject of Manufactures, and particularly the Southern part of our Citizens on the Cotton part of our manufactures, may be rewarded with all the success they merit.

I communicated to the Secy. of the Navy the paragraph in your letter relating to the 3 midshipmen; but am not authorized to say more, than that he is disposed to give whatever favorable attention to it, circumstances may permit. Be pleased Sir to accept assurances of my esteem and of my friendly recollections & good wishes.

James Madison

RC (PWacD: Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP). Undated; conjectural date assigned on the basis of Coxe to JM, 5 July 1817. Tench Coxe (1755–1824) was a Philadelphia-born merchant and an indefatigable writer on economic topics who served in various government positions, including assistant secretary of the Treasury under Alexander Hamilton and purveyor of public supplies under Thomas Jefferson and JM. He was a lifelong advocate of domestic manufacturing in general and the cotton industry in particular.

1JM referred to Coxe’s 8 Feb. 1817 letter (DLC), enclosing his pamphlet, A Memoir, of February, 1817, upon the Subject of the Cotton Wool Cultivation, the Cotton Trade, and the Cotton Manufactories of the United States of America (Philadelphia, 1817; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 40584). Coxe warned of the dangers that increasing production and declining prices of cotton in India posed for the domestic cotton industry and encouraged the protection of the latter through a permanent tariff.

2Coxe’s letter of 25 Feb. 1817 (DLC) concerned three U.S. Navy midshipmen—his son James Sidney Coxe, [Joel or Walter] Abbott, and [John H.] Graham—who had been “severally wounded” in the service and for whom Coxe wished promotion to lieutenant “on the ground of peculiar sufferings and injuries.”

3William Sampson (1764–1836) was a United Irishman, arrested and exiled from Ireland by the British in 1799. After years in Portugal and France, he came to New York City in 1806 where he became a prominent lawyer and writer and a leader in the Irish community. Sampson was the author of the Address of the American Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Manufactures, to the People of the United States (New York, 1817; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 39988), to which JM referred in this letter (Daily National Intelligencer, 25 Jan. 1817).

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