James Madison Papers
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James Madison to Isaac S. Lyon, 20 September 1834

Montpr. Sept. 20th. 1834

Dear Sir

I must apologize for the great delay in acknowledging your letter of Apl. 20th, by referring, (now a common and necessary resort) to the feebleness of age, accompanied by severe & continued inroads on my health.

My respect for your object, would make it very agreeable to me, to aid it in the way you mention. But on looking into the parcels of pamphlets I possess, I find none that would supply the specified chasm. Of orations, I do not recollect that I ever delivered one that was printed. Of addresses, mine have been but answers to addresses, and if printed, it has been in Newspaper’s, not in pamphlets. My speeches, so far as printed, have been with scarce an exception, bound up in Stenographic Volumes. I recollect, that my share in the Debates in Congress on the Commercial Resolutions, called the Virginia Resolutions, was published in pamphlet form; but it happens that I do not possess more than a single copy, and that not a little mutilated & defaced. It may not be amiss to remark, that the Stenographic Reports of my speeches, as doubtless of others, those of Lloyd particularly, are, where they were not revised by the speaker, very defective and often erroneous; and that where revised, I limited myself to the substance with as much adherence to the language, as my memory could effect.

I am sorry that after so much delay, I have not been able to give a more adequate answer to your letter. I hope the explanation offered, will be found not inconsistent with the respects & good wishes, which I pray you to accept.

James Madison

RC (ViU); draft (DLC).

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