Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 25 November 1786

From James Madison

Richmond Novr. 25th. 1786.

Dear Sir

The inclosed letter did not get to my hands till very lately though it was covered by one from Mrs. Carr dated Aug: 21. I conferred a few days ago with Mr. Wythe on the subject of your Nephew in Williamsburg, and had the pleasure of receiving the most favorable account of his capacity, his diligence and his disposition. He is now in the College and enjoys the advantage of Mr. Wythe’s valuable patronage and instructions. Mr. Wythe assures me that he is an excellent Latin Scholar, and from the Greek classics which he has read and is reading, he must shortly merit the same character in the latter language. I have communicated to Mr. Wythe the plan of education which you wished t[o b]e pursued, and can count with perfect assurance on every attention on his part which the most zealous friendship to you and a particular affection to your Nephew can inspire. The evidence in favor of your younger Nephew is of the negative kind only, no late information having been received concerning him. Mr. D. Fitzhugh is here a member of the Assembly. He has not yet put into my hands the small sum which I was authorized to receive. He intimated to me a few days ago that he regretted the delay, and that he had a prospect of shortly putting an end to it. This letter goes by Mr. Chevalier who sets out tomorrow morning for N.Y. where he takes the packet on the 15th. prox. I do not include any public matters, because I expect to bring them down to a later period in a letter which will reach N.Y. in time for the same conveyance. Ad[ie]u.

Js. Madison Jr.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); address leaf mutilated, but portions of the address and TJ’s endorsement remain. Noted in SJL as received 24 Jan. 1787, together with Madison’s letter of 4 Dec. Enclosure (missing): Martha Jefferson Carr to TJ, 5 May 1786, recorded in SJL as received with the above letter.

One from Mrs. Carr: On 21 Aug. 1786 Mrs. Carr had written to Madison: Your kind attention to my sons excites in me an anxiety to acquaint you with every change in their situations. They have both been placed agreeable to your appointments but by a letter which I have just receiv’d from my Eldest son I find he now only boards with Mr. Maury, and at the particular request of Mr. Wythe is going through a course of reading with him, laid down by his Uncle Jefferson. From the exalted Character of that Gentleman I think my son highly honoured by his notice. But your approbation of every step of this kind that he takes, is necessary to my happyness. I must therefore Sir trouble you with a request that should you see any Impropriety in this change you will be so Obliging as to point it out, and rest assured that any plan you shall think proper to propose shall be punctually Observed” (DLC: Madison Papers).

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