Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Bishop James Madison, 1 November 1800

From Bishop James Madison

Novr. 1. 1800 Williamsburg.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Wilkinson, the late Agent or Steward for Mrs. Paradise, having departed this Life, I have been solicited by a Friend of mine, Mr Coleman, to mention him to you, as a fit Successor; upon the Supposition, that you had, in Conjunction with some other Gentlemen, full Authority to act in such a Case. I have said to Mr Coleman, that I was disposed to beleive, you had declined an Acceptance of the Trust which Mrs. Paradise wished to repose in you. But as it may be otherwise, & he is anxious upon the Subject, I determined to assure you of his perfect Integrity, & Capacity for Business. Mr Coleman is a near Neighbour, has been long Known to me, & is in every Respect a truly worthy Citizen. Should the Appointment be in you, with those other Gentlemen alluded to, I am persuaded you wd. wish to be informed of some meritorious Person for the Office; & it is upon that Ground, I have taken the Liberty of recommending Mr. William Coleman of James City.

What an important Denoûment has lately been made! Hamilton’s Attack upon Mr. Adams is a perfect Confirmation of all that that arch & very clever1 Fellow Duane has been so long hinting at, or rather affirming.—It will be a Thunderbolt to both. I rejoice with you, that Republicanism is likely to be completely triumphant; & particularly, as the Event will prove the great Mass of the People of America not to be so far degenerated, as there was, at one Time, too much Reason to apprehend.—

With sincere Respect & Esteem—I am, Dr Sir, Yr. Friend & Sert

J Madison

Your Letter to Miss Digges was carefully delivered—

Novr 3.

This Moment I am told the Republn Ticket has a Majority of One Third in this County—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as a letter of 3 Nov. received on the 14th and so recorded in SJL.

William Wilkinson had managed the property of Lucy Ludwell Paradise in Williamsburg (Vol. 15:270n; Vol. 22:28). TJ recorded no correspondence with either Wilkinson or Coleman in SJL.

Hamilton’s attack: Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States (New York, 1800). Hamilton originally intended the tract to have only limited, discreet circulation to induce presidential electors in South Carolina to favor Charles Cotesworth Pinckney over John Adams. Copies came into the hands of Republican publicists, however, and the Aurora in Philadelphia began printing extracts of Hamilton’s condemnation of Adams on 22 Oct., two days before the authorized publication of the pamphlet in New York. William Duane, disappointed in obtaining copies for sale, issued his own printing “pro bono publico” on 1 Nov. The original publisher rapidly produced four editions (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 25:169–78; Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:456–7n; Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends Nos. 37566–70; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3237).

TJ wrote to Maria Digges on 11 Sep. 1800, probably enclosing the letter in one he wrote to Bishop Madison that day. Those letters, along with communications from Digges to TJ of 12 Aug. 1800, received from Williamsburg on the 21st of that month, and 22 Oct., received 14 Nov., are recorded in SJL but have not been found; see also Maria Digges to TJ, 25 Oct. 1801.

1Preceding two words and ampersand interlined.

Index Entries