Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 25 May 1810

From James Madison

Washington May 25. 1810

Dear Sir

I have duly recd your favor of the 13th. The general idea of disposing of the supernumerary Merino Rams for the public benefit1 had occurred to me. The mode you propose for the purpose seems well calculated for it. But as it will be most proper as you suggest, to let our views, be developed to the public, by the execution of them, there will be time for further consideration. When the Sheep came into my hands, they were so infected with the scab, that I found it necessary, in order to quicken & ensure their cure, to apply the Mercurial ointiment. I hope they are already well. One of ye Ewes has just dropt, a Ewe lamb, which is also doing well. I expect my overseer every day, to conduct them to Orange. As he will have a Waggon with him, the trip I hope may be so managed as to avoid injury to his Charge.

A former Natl Intellr will have given you our last communications from G.B. That of this morning exhibits our prospects on the side of F. The late confiscations by Bonaparte, comprize robbery, theft, & breach of trust, and exceed in turpitude any of his enormities, not wasting human blood. This scene on the continent, and the effect of English Monopoly, on the value of our produce, are breaking the charm attached to what is called free trade, foolishly by some, & wickedly by others. We are looking hourly, for the “John Adams.”2 There is a possibility, that the negociations on foot at Paris, may vary our prospects there. The change, wd be better perhaps, if the last act of Congs were in the hands of Armstrong; which puts our trade on the worst possible footing for France; but at the same time, puts it in the option of her, to revive the Non-intercourse agst England. There is a possibility also that the views of the latter may be somewhat affected by the recent elections; it being pretty certain that the change in the tone of Wellesley from that first manifested to Pinkney, was in part at least, produced by the intermediate intelligence from the U.S. which flattered a fallacious reliance on the British party here.

You receive by this Mail a letter from Fayette, An open one from him to Duplantier, shews equally the e normity of his debts, (800,000 frs) and the extravagance of his expectations.I have forwarded him deeds for 9,000 Acres located near Pt Coupé, & stated by Duplantier, as worth abt $50,000, at an immediate Cash price; of course intrinsically worth much more. I learn with much concern, that some difficulty, not yet explained, is likely to defeat altogether, the location near the City of Orleans, which was the main dependence of Fayette.

Yrs always & affecly

James Madison

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 May 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Lafayette to TJ, 20 Feb. 1810.

The nat l intellr of 21 May 1810 included a 21 Mar. 1810 dispatch from William Pinkney to Robert Smith and enclosed correspondence between Pinkney and Lord Wellesley (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:352–6) describing the successful demand of the American government for the recall of Francis James Jackson, the British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, and indicating that immediate prospects for further negotiations were poor. that of this morning printed a translation of a letter from the Duc de Cadore, the French foreign minister, to John Armstrong, 14 Feb. 1810, explaining that until the United States reopened its ports to French vessels, American ships in French ports would continue to be subjected to search and seizure, and calling on America to oppose the British Orders in Council (same, 3:380–1). The last act of congs was Macon’s Bill No. 2.

1Preceding four words interlined.

2Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Armstrong, John; U.S. minister to France search
  • Cadore, duc de, Jean Baptiste Nompère de Champagny search
  • Congress, U.S.; and Macon’s Bill No.2 search
  • Duplantier, Gabriel Armand Allard; and Lafayette’s La. land search
  • France; and U.S. search
  • Gooch, Gideon; and merino sheep search
  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • Great Britain; Orders in Council (1807) search
  • House of Representatives, U.S.; and Macon’s Bill No.2 search
  • Jackson, Francis James; recall of search
  • John Adams (ship); arrival of anticipated search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; financial situation of search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; land of, in La. search
  • Macon, Nathaniel; and Macon’s Bill No.2 search
  • Madison, James; and Lafayette search
  • Madison, James; and merino sheep search
  • Madison, James; letters from search
  • merino sheep; infected with scab search
  • merino sheep; TJ to provide Va. with search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; Continental System of search
  • National Intelligencer (Washington newspaper); prints diplomatic correspondence search
  • Orange Court House (Orange Co.); TJ’s merino sheep sent to search
  • Pinkney, William; as U.S. minister to Great Britain search
  • Pinkney, William; dispatches mentioned search
  • Pointe Coupee, La.; Lafayette’s land at search
  • Smith, Robert; secretary of state search
  • United States; and France search
  • United States; and Great Britain search
  • Virginia; TJ to provide merino sheep to search
  • Wellesley, Richard Wellesley, Marquess; British foreign minister search