James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Maury, 9 April 1793

From James Maury

Liverpool 9 Apl 1793

My dear Sir

I have sometimes been drawn into Letters of Recommendation to you, not with my own intire aprobation, for which I beg your pardon. ’Tis tho’ by no means so on this Occasion. The Bearer the Revd Mr Toulmin1 goes to our Country on an Errand wherein we are so much interested, that I come forward with all my Heart & intirely of my own accord to request you particularly to favor him with your good offices in a Tour he makes thro’ the United States with the View of fixing on an abiding place for himself & some friends here, who are to become our fellow Citizens & will be valuable acquisitions as well for their Virtue & Knowlege as their property—among them is the virtuous Eddows of Chester.2 I am with particular Esteem & Regard your friend

James Maury

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM, with the notation: “recommending Mr. Toulmin.”

1The Reverend Harry Toulmin, an English Unitarian minister, emigrated to the U.S. to escape the political and religious reaction of the 1790s. En route to America his ship was stopped by a French privateer who allowed him to proceed when shown Toulmin’s letters of introduction (probably including this one). He presented the letter to JM at Montpelier and visited Jefferson and Monroe in early August 1793. He also gave JM a description of an English threshing machine, an invention that was currently of interest to Jefferson and to JM, whose family was planning to build a gristmill in Madison County. Toulmin settled in Kentucky, where he became president of Transylvania Seminary. As secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1796–1804, and judge of the superior court for the eastern district of the Mississippi Territory, 1804–19, he corresponded frequently with JM (Marion Tinling and Godfrey Davies, eds., The Western Country in 1793: Reports on Kentucky and Virginia by Harry Toulmin [San Marino, Calif., 1948], pp. vii, xv, 3; “Comments on America and Kentucky, 1793–1802,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 47 [1949]: 9; Toulmin, “Some account of a threshing machine at Charles Mordaunt’s Esqr, Halsal, near Omskirk, Lancashire,” n.d. [DLC]).

2Ralph Eddowes was a student of Joseph Priestley’s. Like his mentor, he emigrated in 1794 and became a founding member of the First Unitarian Society of Philadelphia (Sowerby, Catalogue of Jefferson’s Library, 2:185; Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 2:1405).

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