James Madison Papers
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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/99-02-02-3024

James Madison to James Leander Cathcart, September 1834

Dear Sir

I recd. in the due time your letter of Aug. 11. But in my present condition I have been obliged to spare the use of the pen as much as possible, especially when an answer was not pressing, and I could give none that could be of much importance.

It may well be supposed that at my age, and after a lapse of nearly 30 years, my memory must be a very fallible resort for information as to circumstances to which it has not been recalled in the mean time. I should be sorry if its deficiency, should in any way, affect your claim for services after the arrival of Mellimilli at & before his departure from Washington. What alone I recollect is that your knowledge of the languages spoken by him, and of Tunisian Affairs, were occasionally availed of, in interviews with him, and it is quite probable that these attentions on your part were given at the request of those in Office. It is probable also that he & his companions, might press particularly on the hospitality of a family, where alone they could find the means of social conversation.

The only person now in Washington who was connected with the Department of State during the period in question is Mr. Pleasanton. Perhaps his recollections may throw light on the circumstances you wish to verify.

For the good wishes in which you were joined by Mrs. Cathcart, for Mrs Madison & myself, we offer to you both a sincere return of them.

J. M.

Draft (ViU).

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