Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 9 May 1796

From James Madison

May 9. 1796

Dear Sir

I have your letter on the subject of Mr. Howell and seen the old gentleman who interests himself in it. I think it probable you will find reason to be satisfied with the change you have made in your merchant. I have not yet been able to procure bills on Amsterdam for Van Staphorst. They can be got I am told, but not with so much ease or choice, as on London. I shall not intermit my attention to that object.

We have had a calm ever since the decision on the Treaty. Petitions however continue to arrive, chiefly in favor of the Treaty. The N. England States have been ready to rise in mass against the H. of Reps. Such have been the exertions and influence of Aristocracy, Anglicism, and mercantilism in that quarter, that Republicanism is perfectly overwhelmed, even in the Town of Boston. I hope it will prove but a transitory calamity; and that the discovery of the delusion, will ultimately work a salutary effect. The people have been every where made to believe that the object of the H. of Reps. in resisting the Treaty was—War; and have thence listened to the summons “to follow where Washington leads.” Nothing late from abroad. We expect to adjourn about the 20 or 25 inst: Adieu Yrs. affy

Js. Madison Jr

We has just had a most plentiful rain after a drought nearly as severe as that with you.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Charlottesville via Richmond Virginia”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received from Philadelphia on 21 May 1796 and so recorded in SJL.

Letter on the subject of Mr. Howell: TJ to Madison, 24 Apr. 1796.

A meeting held in Boston on 28 Apr. 1796 led to a pro-treaty memorial signed by 1,300 citizens and the appointment of a committee which drew up and sent a circular letter to every town in the state, declaring that if the House of Representatives persisted “in delaying their concurrence to give operation to the Treaty,” peace would give way to “War! Horrid War!” Under these conditions, the memorialists exhorted, “it is impossible to doubt as to our choice—We cannot hesitate to follow where Washington leads” and choose peace and prosperity over war and distress (Philadelphia Gazette, 7 May 1796).

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