James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Quincy Adams, 11 October 1822

From John Quincy Adams

Washington 11th October 1822.

Dear Sir

In requesting your acceptance of the copy herewith transmitted of a Collection of Documents recently published by me,1 I think it necessary to ask of your indulgence to overlook that part of it which is personally controversial. The transactions to which it relates having occurred during your Administration and the discussion involving in some degree sanctioned by you, I have thought they would not be without interest to you, on that account as well as because they are of no inconsiderable moment to the permanent welfare of the Union. I have much satisfaction also in being thus offered the occasion of tendering anew the grateful sense I entertain of that public confidence with which you honour’d me at a time when, as now appears, there were not wanting efforts then unknown to me to shake it. I remain with great Respect, Dear Sir, your very faithful and humble servant

Letterbook copy (MHi: Adams Papers). RC listed for sale in Parke-Bernet Catalogue No. 2763 (1968), item 4.

1John Quincy Adams, The Duplicate Letters, the Fisheries and the Mississippi. Documents relating to Transactions at the Negotiation of Ghent (Washington, 1822; Shoemaker 7740). This pamphlet was an answer to an attack on Adams by Jonathan Russell over proposals made during the Anglo-American negotiations at Ghent on the subject of the navigation of the Mississippi River. Adams’s rebuke was so overwhelmingly successful that thereafter to destroy someone’s reputation before the public was known as to “jonathanrussell” someone. For a full discussion of this issue, see Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy, 498–509.

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