Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 20 October 1797

From James Madison

Octr. 20. 1797

Dear Sir

I received the inclosed pamphlet from Col. Monroe with a request that it might be returned to you. The publication under all its characters is a curious specimen of the ingenious folly of its author. Next to the error of publishing at all, is that of forgetting that simplicity and candor are the only dress which prudence would put on innocence. Here we see every rhetorical artifice employed to excite the spirit of party to prop up his sinking reputation, and whilst the most exaggerated complaints are uttered against the unfair and virulent persecutions of himself, he deals out in every page the most malignant insinuations, against others. The one against you is a masterpiece of folly, because its impotence is in exact proportion to its venom. Along with the pamphlet is inclosed a letter which you will be good eno’ to have delivered by an early opportunity. Yrs. Affecly

Js Madison Jr

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 21 Oct. 1797 and so recorded in SJL. For enclosures, see note below.

The inclosed pamphlet was Alexander Hamilton’s Observations, which Monroe had sent to Madison on 15 Oct. 1797, with the request that it be returned “by the post to Mr. Jeffn” (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– , 26 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 4 vols. description ends xvii, 50–51). For the insinuations against TJ, see TJ to Andrew G. Fraunces, 27 and 28 June 1797. The letter enclosed was perhaps that from Madison to Monroe of 19 Oct. 1797, 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– , 26 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 4 vols. description ends xvii, 53–4.

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