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    • Trist, Nicholas P.
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    • post-Madison Presidency
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    • Madison, James

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Until a few weeks ago, I counted with certainty on making my usual pilgrimage to Montpellier during this visit to the U. States. But circumstances beyond my control have put it out of my power, and I am now hastening to New Orleans, by the Way of Charleston, Augusta & Mobile, in company with Septimia Randolph, who has already suffered such effects from the cold weather as to make her friends...
Unless the day should be unfavorable, Mrs Trist & myself & children will set out to-morrow, to dine at Gordonsville, and reach Montpellier in the evening. Cornelia & Mary, and one of Mr. Randolph’s younger daughters (Cary Ann) will follow the next tuesday; and we propose all to leave you on the ensuing friday evening, so as to be in Washington the next day. I thought, when last with you, that...
Private. A circumstance came to my knowledge the other day, which, as (according to the impressions which prevail here) it may have some connexion with your affairs, I deem it proper to communicate to you. Mr. Eugene Vail some time since rented of the Newells a house (marked V’s house) adjoining the ground in possession of Mr. Cutts. V’s father in law, a wealthy monied man of New York,...
Your favor of the 25th came duly to hand. There was a reason for the application to G going from you which I intended, but forgot at the moment, to state. Of this, however, another time. Every day has been devoted to the examination of Mr. J’s papers: beginning at the beginning, & coming down regularly. I have almost got through, and at every step something occurs to confirm my own opinion, &...
Since my return here (last friday) I have been engaged in the examination of Mr. Jefferson’s papers, for materials to put the measures of ’98-’99 in their true light, and thus to vindicate his memory & that of his co-laborers from the deep reproach of having given birth to the doctrine of Nullification as now understood. I have found several precious things, among which is the memorandum of...
Towards the close of a thorough examination which I have made of Mr. Jefferson’s papers, and when I had nearly given up all hope, I found one cypher. This, by Mr. R’s permission, I now enclose, with the request that when you shall have made what use you want of it, it be put under cover to him. It is the only cypher now among his papers, I am confident. With it were several Schemes , from...
A note from Mr Kane informs me that Mr Longacre—whom I had previously the pleasure of knowing, and whom he speaks of as "one of our most accomplished & estimable Philadelphia artists, is on his way to Virginia, and proposes to visit Montpelier in the hope that it will not be found too inconvenient to you to allow him an opportunity to take your picture. Mr Kane says he has never seen a good...
You were right in supposing that my thoughts had been given to the subject of the void made in the University by the resignation of Dr Dunglison; but I am sorry to say that it has not been to any purpose. Indeed I was satisfied from the beginning that it would be utterly impossible to fill his place, even tolerably; and that the days of the Medical School in our University were numbered. I...
At the recommendation of Commodore Elliot, (a gentleman of great intelligence who knows all about the West Indies, and Havana particularly) I have purchased a volume of letters, which none of us will have time to read for a couple of weeks or more. I have dipped into it, & think it will prove entertaining to Mrs Madison & yourself, independently of the interest the subject will derive from its...
I intended that you should first hear from myself , of the plunge I have taken; but this step has but added to the pressure of things to be done, which was before intolerably great, by requiring that many should be immediately dispatched which might otherwise have waited a little—besides no small addition to the pressing agenda arising from the step itself. Mrs. Trist had, several days before...
The somersets which have been turned here since I last wrote have changed the aspect of things in more respects than one. It has opened prospects with regard to the prosecution of internal improvements, and among others the Chesapeake & Ohio canal, which will not be without their effect upon the value of property here. Should this new scheme be adopted, the inevitable effect will be a large...
January is past, and I am still here, without any immediate prospect of getting away. I still flatter myself, however, that I may yet, before this month passes over, make my appearance at Montpelier. My health is sensibly improved. Indeed every one tells me I look remarkably well; but with this, my feelings are still far from according. I yet suffer much from a general want of tone of body and...
On christmas morning, In attempting to rise, I found myself completely nullified , and almost as stiff as a statue, in the body. I had for some days felt a slight pain in the back, which had now almost impreceptibly ripened into quite a severe acute rheumatism, that rendered every attempt at motion excessively painful. In the course of 36 hours, the stiffness disappeared; but I had to confine...
The enclosed will give you a juster idea of the real state of things at the Head Quarters of Nullification &c than you can get at second hand. Offers of military support are pouring in upon the President. Not a few from Virginia . The People of So. Ca. are becoming aware of the impositions [pra]ctised upon them as to the peaceableness of the remedy, and there are already some symptoms of a...
I have already delayed several days longer than I intended, the acknowledgment of the receipt of the books, and of the gratification of receiving a letter written with your own hand, which the transmission of the Cholera Report through you has afforded me. I now snatch a moment for the purpose, while waiting for a document which I am to copy. The copy of L’s book, I had no idea of your...
Thinking on this subject last night in bed, it occurred to me that the most effectual way to keep these madmen in check, would be for the upper country in S. C.—(the only part of the state which is self-sufficient for the purposes of internal security, and which is decidedly against nullification) to say to the others, we here part company. If you choose to pursue this course, we will not; and...
It is more than four weeks since I received your last; and I then thought that but a day or two would pass before I answered it. But I have repeatedly in the last two months been laid on my back for three, four, or five days at a time, by a succession of boils which kept me in great pain, and made it impossible to move without a great encrease. The consequence is, that I have been overwhelmed...
I have been intending to write ever since we had the pleasure—a most heartfelt one—of hearing of the favorable turn in your health; but things have crowded upon me in such a way as to make me procrastinate. H. L.’s book reached here yesterday. It is a realization of your apprehensions concerning the consequences that might result from the Charlottesville publication, if proper care were not...
Your favor of the 2nd—was answered yesterday evening, & the answer went by this morning’s mail. Lest, however, it should meet with some accident, I repeat the information it contained. The law of Maryland, now in force here, makes no distinction between holograph and other wills. It requires that all wills be signed by the testator (or by some one by his express direction) in the presence of...
Your favor of the 2d—postmarked 3d—was received this morning, after the departure of the mail. I immediately set about ascertaining what the law of Maryland was on the point in question, at the time of the cession: this being the law of Washington county in the District of Columbia, unless altered by act of Congress, which, I have ascertained, has not been done. The act of the Legislature of...
Your letter & the Speech are recd.—Your signature on the frank indicated but too plainly the state of your hand; and I fear that this unprecedented weather strengthens the enemy to the point of allowing you no rest. I shall write a few lines to-night, if not prevented. Meanwhile Affte adieux RC (ViHi : Nicholas P. Trist Album Book).
I have used no ceremony in retaining the enclosed $15. until I could conveniently return it. Do not, I pray, give yourself the trouble to write; as I hope again to see you in the course of the month, on my return from Albemarle. Looking for a paper, the other day, I came across the one I now send for your perusal. The circumstance that caused me to write it, you will recollect. On reflexion, I...
The enclosed is a communication to the Enquirer, not yet published , which I have got printed at the Globe office, and sent to the E. in its present shape, to avoid the typographical errors which, had it been sent in M. S., would have been sure to occur, & to mar the sense. If the Lynchb Jeffersonian speak the truth, Mr Walsh pronounces Mr. Calhoun’s piece to be unanswerable , and another...
It may, perhaps, be important to you to know that a conversation with General Bernard to-day has satisfied me of the extreme probability of War (perhaps general ) in Europe Yrs affly Of course this intelligence is, in a great measure confidential. RC (ViHi : Nicholas P. Trist Album Book). Docketed by JM.
I am returning to the City from a trip to the Rip Raps (the most delightful spot, as to atmosphere, I have ever been at) in company with the President, and sit down to scrawl a few lines in the hope of their reaching you in time. I have good grounds for thinking that your presence—if it be only for one or two days—at the approaching meeting of the Visitors will be highly important to the...
It has for some years, been a subject of regret with Mr Huygens to have passed near Montpellier without having it in his power to make a pilgrimage to it. He now travels under circumstances more propitious to his wishes, and affords me an opportunity to recall myself in an agreeable manner to your & Mrs Madison’s recollection RC (ViHi : Nicholas P. Trist). Docketed by JM.
I have, for some time, been intending to send you the enclosed; but, agreeably to my second nature—which has abundant opportunity to manifest itself—I have put off doing so, from day to day, and week to week. It is on a subject which early attracted your own attention, although you probably did not then foresee that it would ever be presented to the world in the naked-- purity , I think, in...
Under this cover is the speech of Genl. H. which you will oblige me by returning when you have done with it. The particular part in question is in the appendix, p. 44. The consideration I have again bestowed on the subject confirms me in the conviction that it may, without difficulty, be placed in its true light. One of the passengers in the stage obtained at the Ct. House an orange Press , in...
In the hurry of folding last Sunday, the enclosed was omitted; and as it may be necessary to assure you, in case of one of those collecting visits, which, from the loose manner in which newspaper accounts are generally & in a great measure unavoidably kept, I know by experience one is liable to a repetition of,— I now enclose it. I have been running over the essay on distress, and found in it...
Mr Davis asked me some time since to procure & send him by the earliest conveyance the accompanying volume, my copy of which I had recommended to his perusal some years ago. ’Tis Bentham’s annihilation , I must call it, of Blackstone, not only as a politician, but as a lawyer ; which, it now appears from Neale’s late work, enlisted or rather impressed (for it must have been against their will)...
Mr. Gales having told me on Saturday that the communication in question would appear in the ensuing paper, I was apprehensive, on the receipt of your last favor, that it would be too late to avail myself of the suggestion contained in it. The paper yesterday morning, however, proved not to contain it; and I went down to the printing office as soon as I could. Mr G. (nor S.) was not in; & after...
I wrote a line the day after the receipt of your letter, to inform you of its safe arrival. It did not rain that afternoon, as I then anticipated, & I went to Georgetown. Mr Nicholls, however, was out; nor could the gentleman in his store tell me where he could be found. The next day it rained heavily; & the day after, I was laid up. The indisposition although severe was very transient, & I...
Your packet has come safe to hand, & the enclosure for Mr Nicholls shall be delivered by me this afternoon, unless it rains, as now seems probable. Meanwhile, I enclose you a paper containing many details concerning the wonderful event which the inconceivable folly of half a dozen men has brought about. Although it were to be wished that they would have suffered the French People to continue...
The step which I now take, I venture on With the less reluctance, as, if not entirely approved by you, it will rest altogether with you to prevent its reaching the field of impropriety. Mr Davis has written to ask me to procure, & send him without loss of time, a book which I once lent him. I have determined to avoid delay by sending him my copy; but it being altogether uncertain when this...
In the scrawl I sent you just before my departure for Philadelphia, I adverted to another subject, on which I proposed to write soon. Circumstances have encouraged my procrastinating disposition, until it has brought me to the last moment. The subject in question is the creation of a Professorship for (for this is truly the only light in which the subject can be viewed by an impartial...
Procrastination has prevented my sooner writing on a subject which the deep interest I take in the University has long determined me to venture to broach to you. I have very little time for the purpose now, and moreover, my head swims like a top in consequence of my rest having been disturbed last night by my little girl; but, from the near approach of the meeting of the visitors, there is not...
Your favor in answer to mine, has come safe to hand. Such is the character of the attention now given to public affairs, that I think it quite doubtful whether the absurdity in question—glaring as it is—will not escape notice. It is not in the exact line of Scent of either or any of the packs. A production which, to a mind at all familiar with your and Mr Jefferson’s principles, could not be...
By a singular coincidence, just after your last note was recd. Elliott came into my office, from which the cold reception I have made it a point to give him, had kept him more aloof than he was first disposed to me. He mentioned that "partly on business, partly on pleasure" he was going to pay you a visit; I availed myself of the opportunity to say that you were indisposed at present, which...
On reading the message of the President on the Maysville road bill, you will be, probably, as astounded as I was, at the preposterous misconstruction of your very plain language, and the ascription to you of a concession utterly at variance with the idea of a limitation of the authority of the Fed. govt, and with the uniform & emphatic tone of your mind on these subjects. Conceiving it to be a...
Had the many interruptions been anticipated, which have arisen to prevent an earlier reply to your favor of the 16th ulto., I should have immediately written a line to relieve you from doubt as to its safe transmission. The justness of your criticism is felt, upon the imputation of ignorance as to the doctrines of self government, to the period of the Revolution. I was indeed unaware of the...
In putting up the enclosed for yourself, I take the liberty of adding three packets for the Orange Ct. House post=office. This I do in the conviction that; from the nature of the packets, it is no abuse of your frank, and that the liberty will be excusable in your eyes. Ritchie’s conduct on the occasion has been most inexcusable . His notes to the friend in Richmond whom I had charged with the...
On the subject of all the conversations which it has been my good fortune to enjoy with you, I have made it a rule— which is indeed a general one with me— to observe the strictest silence. Your views in relation to the true spirit of the resolutions & report, are the single exception to this. I have mentioned to two or three persons, in confidence , that I was satisfied, from your own remarks,...
After the dose of Constitutional matter which you have had forced upon you of late, it is not without apprehension of being deemed inconsiderate that I approach you with another; and I venture to do so, only from the conviction that, as the subject is one which has natural claims upon your interest, so it really enjoys it. The daily & hourly perversion --as I am satisfied that it is, & that...
Mr Pierpont of Boston, whose name as a Minister of the Unitarian church is no doubt familiar to you, having come as far south as this place, finds himself too near the attraction now presented by Richmond, to resist it; and as you constitute one of its most important elements, I presume so far upon the kindness I have myself experienced, as to give him this introduction. With the profoundest...
Mr Van Buren is reported to contemplate a visit to Richmond, where he will, of course, see you. He has expressed himself favorably concerning me, to several persons. But I have not had any opportunity to make myself known to him, except in the mere routine of a subordinate clerkship. Should no circumstance exist to make such a thing unpleasant; an expression of the sentiments with which it has...
It is my intention some day or other to take up seriously the politics of this country. If a moment of leisure is ever allowed you for the purpose, will you add to your many kindnesses that of pointing out, in as much detail possible, a course of reading on the subject? Ever yours N. P. T. RC ( ViHi : Nicholas P. Trist Album Book).
I have only time to ask the favor of you to send the enclosed to Mr Randolph by the first mail. It contains a copy of the journal of the board, at their last meeting—sent for the purpose of having some made, as the writing on hand here does not allow me time to complete the whole by the meeting. I saw Mrs Cutts last evening She is well, but will not be able to accompany me on Sunday next, when...
Dr Jones has lost his situation in the Patent office, and now holds a clerkship in this Dept. I accidentally learnt yesterday that he had told one of his acquaintance that this was only temporarily, for "he had once been offered professorships in the University of Virginia & some other institution, and would again turn his attention that way." On hearing this, I determined to lose no time in...
I have just sent to the post-office, the copy of Mr Monroe’s paper, due to Genl. Breckenridge; those for yourself & Mr Randolph shall follow this week. I have had the pleasure of hearing of your recovery, as Mrs Cutts received letters from Montpellier; & was told yesterday evening, by Miss Dolly that the oranges had not yet made their appearance there. I had obtained a promise from the Captain...
An accidental opportunity offers to send you a few oranges, which may, perhaps, be a rarity; and will, I trust, be more acceptable than my prescription during your last illness. The news of this, recd. yesterday from Mr Rives, was as unexpected as it was unpleasant: for but a few days had elapsed since I had called at Mr Cutts’s, & learnt you were both well. You must have been thinking me very...