Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 4 July 1809

From James Madison

July 4. 1809

Dear Sir

The inclosed letter accompanied ye skin of an Animal, not named by the writer, which belongs to the Region of the Rocky Mountains. The bundle being too large for the Mail, I shall forward it by some other oppy; perhaps as far as Orange, by a waggon I shall soon have on the return thither.

You will have seen that a re-nomination of J. Q. A. for Russia, has succeeded with the Senate. In framing his Credence, it will be proper to adapt it to that given to Mr Short,1 which deviated from the beaten form; and it appears that the original in that case passed on to Mr Short, without being opened at the Office of State. No copy therefore exists but the one retained by yourself. Will you be so good as to lend me that, sending it to Orange Ct House to await my arrival there; which will probably be at an early day next week. We continue without news from Europe later than the rumour from Holland of a defeat of the Austrians.

Yrs truly & respectfully

James Madison

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); dateline repeated at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 10 July 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: William Clark to TJ, 2 June 1808 (MHi).

The skin came from a Rocky Mountain (bighorn) sheep, and Denis Fitzhugh was the writer who conveyed it from Clark to Madison, carrying it in person to New York City and sending it from there to Washington (Fitzhugh to Madison, 26 June 1809, Swann Galleries, New York City, auction 2432, 17 Nov. 2016, lot 192; TJ to Clark, 10 Sept. 1809). j. q. a.: on 27 June 1809 the Senate reversed its earlier rejection of Madison’s nomination of John Quincy Adams as minister plenipotentiary to Russia (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:127). Napoleon’s armies had defeated the austrians at Landshut, Eckmühl, and Ratisbon in April 1809 (Washington National Intelligencer, 7 July 1809).

1TJ here wrote in the left margin “Aug. 29. 09.,” a misdated reference to his 29 Aug. 1808 letter of credence to Alexander I for William Short (RuAVPR [microfilm at DLC]).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; minister plenipotentiary to Russia search
  • Austria; war with Napoleon search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; sends sheepskin to TJ search
  • Fitzhugh, Denis search
  • France; military operations in Austria search
  • Madison, James; letters from search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); sends sheepskin to TJ search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; and Austria search
  • Orange Court House (Orange Co.); and J. Madison search
  • Russia; U.S. minister to search
  • sheep; skin of Rocky Mountain search
  • Short, William; letter of credence for search
  • State Department, U.S.; letter of credence for W. Short search