James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Francis Mercer, 8 February 1785

From John Francis Mercer

Annapolis Feby. 8. 1785.

Dear Sir

I have your favor of the 24. which pursuing me by a circuitous route, did not reach this untill within a few days. I place value on every mark of your friendship & to convince you that public business alone was not what induc’d me to revive impressions which were strongly imprinted on my breast. I now write you from a recess, where news of private happiness can be the only subject of a[t]te[n]tion. I feel that you will participate in my pleasure when I communicate to you the accomplishment of an object, which for a long time has engross’d my attention & engag’d my wishes. I was married on the 3d. instant, to a young Lady of this place—The eldest daughter of Mr. Sprigg.1 In a change of situation which has produc’d a revolution in many opinions my sentiments towards my friends remain unaltered. I wish & hope, to retain & improve ’em, & in whatever place I may ultimately settle, be assur’d it is much my desire to cultivate your esteem. It is more than probable I shall continue in Virginia, if I can make it tolerably agreable to my new connexion. I woud certainly prefer a Country of which I am a native, & which has been partial to the little merit I possess. You have my best wishes & be assur’d that I am most sincerely yr friend & hbl Set.

John F. Mercer

RC (DLC). Cover missing. Docketed by JM.

1Mercer’s bride was Sophia Sprigg, daughter of Richard Sprigg of Anne Arundel County, Maryland (Va. Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, 24 Feb. 1785).

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