James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard Peters, 31 March 1790

From Richard Peters

Philada. March 31. 1790

Dear Sir

I know your Time is so much occupied that unless on some very important Occasion it ought not to be interrupted. I send you a Pamphlet given to me by a Member of our House Mr Herman Husbands.1 As he reprobates the System of Finance it will not be the less pleasing to you on that Account. Having drawn the Principles of the federal Government from higher Sources than we ever thought of he must be a prodigious Genius. I never saw before the Reason of the Jews being federalists ’till I percieved their Fondness for Brokerage was drown’d in their Attachments to their Friends of the old Testament. We must have Husbands in the House of Representatives as he is of the same Side tho’ from deeper Motives with some who are already there & who seem to want a Lift.

If Husbands’s Balderdash does not amuse you it affords me an Opportunity of assuring you of the sincere Esteem with which I am affectionately yours

Richard Peters

Please to present my affectionate Compliments to Mr Jefferson of whose Arrival in our City I was not apprized ’till he had departed for N. York. He has a Head for deep Speculations, perhaps our great political Investigator may afford him some Amusement.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. Enclosure not found, but see n. 1.

1Hermon Husband (1724–1795) was long on the political scene in North Carolina and Pennsylvania as an outspoken critic of taxation (William K. Boyd, “Some North Carolina Tracts of the Eighteenth Century,” North Carolina Historical Review, III [1926], 68–70). Mark H. Jones, who is writing a dissertation on Husband at Northern Illinois University, has attributed to him the pamphlet A Dialogue between an Assembly-Man and a Convention-Man … (Philadelphia, [1790]; Evans supp. description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). Roger P. Bristol, ed., Supplement to Charles Evans’ American Bibliography (Charlottesville, Va., 1970). description ends 45861). Perhaps this pamphlet, in which the anonymous author likened the American federal government to a vision of the prophet Ezekiel, was Peters’s enclosure.

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