Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 27 November 1809

From James Madison

Washington Novr 27. 1809

Dear Sir

A gentleman of intelligence & good standing in Kentuckey lately signified to a friend here, that he was much in conversation with Col. Monroe during his trip to that Country, and that Sentiments which were repeatedly dropped by him, left no doubt, that altho’ he declined1 a more important Station at N.O. he would not object to the vacancy produced by the death of Govr Lewis, which would place him in a more eligible Climate. I can not bring myself to believe, that the Gentn has not drawn a conclusion entirely erroneous, and that any step taken on a contrary supposition would not be otherwise than offensive. Still it may be my duty in a way that can not have such an effect, to acquire certainty on the subject. Will you permit me, with that view to ask of you2 to give a turn to conversation, with Col. M, which may feel the disposition of his mind, without indicating any particular object. I need not suggest, that it will be desireable that the first opportunity occurring should be made use of.

I understand there is likely to be a Quorum in both Houses today3 notwithstanding the late bad weather.

It seems that Turreau has dispatches by a French sloop of War which left Bayonne Early in Ocr. He is but just arrived from Baltimore, & there has not yet been any communication with him. From the date of the opportunity, it is not probable that any thing is recd as to our Affaires either more recent or important than the information from Genl A. by the Wasp, which will be laid before Congs  Yrs always with affecte respects

James Madison

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of first page: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 29 Nov. 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

The gentleman of intelligence from Kentucky was James Morrison, whose friend John Graham was a State Department clerk (James Monroe to John Taylor of Caroline, 9 May 1810, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3d ser., 42 [1909]: 328). Madison laid extracts from John Armstrong’s dispatches of 4 and 16 Sept. 1809 before congs on 29 Nov. (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:92, 95n).

1Manuscript: “dclined.”

2Preceding four words interlined.

3Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Armstrong, John; dispatches mentioned search
  • Congress, U.S.; and foreign affairs search
  • Congress, U.S.; quorum reached in search
  • Graham, John; State Department clerk search
  • Kentucky; J. Monroe’s trip to search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; death of search
  • Louisiana Territory; J. Monroe offered governorship of search
  • Madison, James; and J. Monroe search
  • Madison, James; letters from search
  • Monroe, James; and governorships of Louisiana and Orleans territories search
  • Monroe, James; and J. Madison search
  • Monroe, James; visits Ky. search
  • Morrison, James search
  • suicide; and M. Lewis search
  • Turreau de Garambouville, Louis Marie; arrival in Washington search
  • Wasp (brig); carries letters to and from Europe search
  • weather; snow search