James Madison Papers
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James Madison to John Andrew Graham, 15 August 1828

Aug. 15. 1828.

Dear Sir

I have duly recd. the copy of your Memoirs of J. H. Tooke, with which you have been pleased to favor me.

Having never entered particularly into the enquiries concerning the authorship of the letters of Junius, I am among those least competent to judge between the Candidates for that celebrity. If you have not established the title of Tooke, you have at least set aside that of some others, and given to the arguments for his all their lustre. The Memoirs embrace also certain historical elements which give an additional interest to them.

The test of handwritings which you apply to the problem, tho’ not unworthy of attention, does not, I must own strike me with the force it may do others. If there be an apparent identity in some minute respects, it is not the case in the general aspects of the specimens compared: and it is not presumed that they were written at dates so distant that the difference can be explained by the effect of age on the use of the fingers, which is often greater than the change made by it on the features of the face. There is another cause indeed, of difference in the writings of the same hand, that of the greater or less haste with which they are executed; And it is but fair, to allow this consideration, a hypoth[etical] weight in such comparisons. I offer you Sir, with my thanks for your politeness, my respects & very good wishes.

Draft (DLC).

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