James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 22 August] 1793

To Thomas Jefferson

At Col. M——1 [ca. 22 August 1793]

Dear Sir

I left home the day before yesterday which was the date of my last. It was to be accompanied by 2. & perhaps tho’ not probably 3 additional Nos. of H—l—vd—s. The last towit No. 5. contained two paragraphs the one relating to the accession of S. & P. to the war against F. the other to the answer’s of the P. to the addresses on his proclamation, which I particularly requested you to revise, and if improper, to erase. The whole piece was more hurried than it ought to have been, and these paragraphs penned in the instant of my setting out which had been delayed as late as would leave eno’ of the day for the journey. I mention this as the only apology for the gross error of fact committed with respect to the term neutrality, which it is asserted the P. has not used in any of his answers. I find on looking into them here, that he used it in the first of all to the Merchts. of Philada.2 and in one other out of three which I have examined. I must make my conditional request therefore an absolute one as to that passage. If he should forbear the use of the term in all his answers subsequent to the perversion of it by Pacificus, it will strengthen the argument used; but that must be a future & contingent consideration. Mr. D. R.3 was not arrived yesterday. The family here well—so also at M. as you will no doubt learn from the Spot itself. Adieu. Yrs. Affy

RC (DLC). Unsigned. Docketed by Jefferson, “abt Aug. 22. 93. / recd. Sep. 2.”

1JM wrote from James Monroe’s home near Charlottesville.

2In his letter of 17 May 1793 “To the Merchants and Traders of the City of Philadelphia,” Washington asserted that “the happiness and best interests of the people of the United States, will be promoted by observing a strict neutrality” (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , 32:460).

3David Meade Randolph.

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