Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 7 December 1810

From James Madison

Washington Der 7. 1810

Dear Sir

The letter inclosed came to me as you see it; and tho’ probably meant more for me than you, is forwarded according to its ostensible destination.

We have nothing from abroad, more than has been made public. The latest date from Pinkney is the 3d of Ocr. The arrival of Novr will have been some test, positive or negative of the views of England: Her Party here seems puzzled more than usual. If they espouse her Blockades, they must sink under the odium. And this course is the more desperate, as it is possible that she may abandon them herself, under the duress of events.

Lincoln does not yield to the call I made in a private & pressing letter. Still some wish him to be appointed, hoping he may serve for a time. Granger has stirred up recommendations throughout the Eastern States. The means by which this has been done are easily conjectured, & outweigh the recommendations themselves. The soundest Republicans of N. England1 are making head agst him, as infected with Yazooizm, and intrigue. They wish for J. Q. Adams as honest, able, independent, & untainted with such objections. There are others however in the view of the Southern Republicans; tho’ perhaps less formidable to them, than Yazooizm on the Supreme Bench. If there be other Candidates they are disqualified, either politically, morally, or intellectually. Such is a prospect before me, which your experience will make you readily understand.

Rodney has not yet joined us; & of course draws on himself the blame even of his best friends. And I just learn that his plan of bringing his family here, for which he has a House engaged, is broken up by the loss of his furniture, which, coming round by sea, share the fate of a wreck on the Eastern Shore. The loss is encreased by2 the addition of his Law Books & valuable papers. He has hopes however, of saving such articles as have been able to bear a compleat steeping in Salt water.

Be assured always of my sincerest3 affection

James Madison

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 9 Dec. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Joseph Dougherty to TJ, 6 Dec. 1810.

For William pinkney to Madison, 3 Oct. 1810, and Madison’s private letter to Levi Lincoln of 20 Oct. 1810, see Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:570, 588–9.

1Preceding three words interlined.

2Manuscript: “by by.”

3Manuscript: “sincerst.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; nominated as Supreme Court justice search
  • Fletcher v. Peck search
  • Granger, Gideon; and J. Madison search
  • Granger, Gideon; and Yazoo land scheme search
  • Lincoln, Levi; and J. Madison search
  • Madison, James; and G. Granger search
  • Madison, James; and L. Lincoln search
  • Madison, James; and Supreme Court appointments search
  • Madison, James; letters from search
  • New England; Republicans in search
  • Pinkney, William; as U.S. minister to Great Britain search
  • Republican party; in New England search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; furniture wrecked search
  • Supreme Court, U.S.; replacement for W. Cushing search