Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 21 August 1803

From James Madison

Aug. 21.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 18. with inclosures has been recd. I must write to Wagner for Livingston’s Cypher, before I can return the letter from him. I have with me Monroe’s Cypher only. The letters sent you by last mail from those Ministers probably contain the information in cyphered passages of the letter in my hands.

The subject of Duane’s letter being somewhat delicate & important, under several aspects, I have thought it not amiss that you should see the answer I propose to give it. If you think it a proper one, you will please to seal & send it to the post-office. If you think it ought to be in a different shape, you will be so good as to return it, with suitable suggestions.

The inclosed newspaper contains what is material to a full view of the paper side of the controversy between G.B. & France. Having seen no republication of it in our Gazettes, I have thought it worth sending you. Yrs. respectfully

James Madison

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received from the State Department at Orange on 26 Aug. and “Duane” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Madison to William Duane, 20 Aug. (see note to Madison to TJ, 13 Aug.). For other enclosure, see below.

paper side of the controversy: Madison may have referred to statements and documents issued by the French government during May following the release by the British ministry of a large set of papers to support the declaration of war (National Intelligencer, 19, 22 Aug.; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:80, 331n).

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