Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 31 July 1791

From James Madison

n. York July 31. 1791

My Dear Sir

I received yours of the 28th. last evening. Your preceding one covering among other things your memorandums through France was acknowledged by a few lines put into the hands of a young gentleman bound to Philada. in the Stage of yesterday. The purpose of them was to apprize you that you had omitted Coxe’s answer to Sheffeild and to request the favor of you to send it by Monday’s mail. Should the bearer have failed in his trust I take the liberty of repeating the request. I should be glad to have the pamphlet on Tuesday, but if forwarded after the receipt of this it may possibly be in time, especially if one of your young men should light on a passenger for Wednesday’s Stage that runs thro’ in one day. I do not wish however any trouble to be taken in enquiring for such a conveyance, and am really sorry that so much in so trifling a matter should have been given to yourself.

Col: H. Lee left this a day or two ago. He will probably mention to you the comments circulated as to the affair of the Comptroller. It is a little singular no doubt that so serious a face should have been put on it by——who ought to have known the circumstances which explained the nature of the interference complained of. He referred in his conversation with me, to another candidate whom he could not properly name, as the channel thro’ which he had received his wrong impressions.

I am running over yo[ur] memorandums; but I find that to enjoy the pleasure fully I must repeat them with a Map of France before me, which I cannot at present command.—Yrs. mo: affecly.,

Js. Madison Jr.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); date added to endorsement by Madison after letter was returned to him; endorsed by TJ as received 2 Aug. 1791 and so recorded in SJL.

The person indicated by a dash was of course the Secretary of the Treasury. On the charge that TJ and Madison had sought to interfere in the Treasury Department by

promoting Tench Coxe for the office of Comptroller—a charge which TJ had good reason to believe originated with Hamilton himself-see note to Coxe to TJ, 16 Apr. 1791. The other candidate to whom Hamilton referred in his conversation with Madison may have been Timothy Pickering, who of course could have learned of TJ’s role in the affair only at second hand, most likely from Hamilton or Knox.

Index Entries