Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 7 May 1822

From James Madison

Montpellier May 7. 1822

Dear Sir

I fulfill the request of Mr Rush by inclosing the letter in which it is made; and the rather as the letter is of pretty late date and touches on the affairs of Europe. I have heard of your intended visit to Bedford, but count on this reaching Monticello before you leave it.

Always & affecly yours

James Madison

RC (Heritage Auctions, auction 6182, Dallas, 19 Oct. 2017, lot 47062); endorsed by TJ as received 9 (reworked from 10) May 1822 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to William Munford, 6 Sept. 1824, on verso; addressed: “Mr Jefferson Monticello near Charlottesville Virginia”; franked; postmarked Orange Court House, 8 May. Enclosure: Richard Rush to Madison, London, 6 Mar. 1822, reporting the delivery of letters from and procurement of a book for Madison; expressing satisfaction that, according to the most recent census, the population of the United States exceeds 9.6 million; calculating that, after deducting for those who have immigrated, the growth in the country’s population since 1790 indicates an ability to double in size by natural increase every quarter of a century; commenting on the unsettled relations between Turkey and Russia, but predicting they will remain at peace and emphasizing Britain’s desire to prevent a rupture that might endanger the status quo in the Balkans; relaying the opinion of the “great and profound” political philosopher Jeremy Bentham that Alexander I of Russia is “a fop and a hypocrite” and that “nothing advantageous, but much of harm, to human liberty” can be expected from his government; enclosing an anonymous British political pamphlet; offering to TJ, through Madison, his “respectful remembrances”; and repeating his willingness, while in London, to assist the nascent University of Virginia in any way he can (RC in PHi: Rush Papers; printed in Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:489–91).

In his reply to Rush, dated Montpellier, 1 May 1822, Madison remarked that “I have not overlooked what you intimate in regard to Mr Jefferson, who approaches his octogenary Climacteric with a mens sana in corpore sano. The vigor of both is indeed very remarkable at his age. He bears the lamented failure of our Legislature to enable the University to go into immediate action, with a philosophic patience supported by a patriotic hope that a succeeding Representation of the people will better consult their interest & character. The University (the germ of which was the Central College) or the Academic Village as it might be called, is prepared to receive ten professors & two hundred Students: but the funds having been exhausted in the Site & the Buildings, no professors even can be engaged without further aid from the public” (RC in PHi: Gratz Collection; printed in Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 2:510–2).

Index Entries

  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; J. Bentham on search
  • Bentham, Jeremy; on Alexander I search
  • books; on politics search
  • Census, U.S.; of1820 search
  • Great Britain; and Balkans search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; good health of search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and R. Rush search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and TJ’s health search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); letters from search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); works sent to search
  • Ottoman Empire; and Russia search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Rush, Richard; and University of Virginia search
  • Rush, Richard; sends greetings to TJ search
  • Russia; and Ottoman Empire search
  • United States; population of search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; and General Assembly search