James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 7 December 1798

From James Monroe

Alb: Decr. 7. 1798.

Dear Sir

I observe in the Aurora a letter signed Junius wh. seems to incite the respectable marshall of France to continue his essays agnst me in a manner best calculated to forward the views of his prompter.1 I suspect that piece was written, either by the volunteer aid2 or the inspector genl.3 I am surprised such a piece shod. have been introduc’d in that paper without a comment. I gave Mr. Dawson the Marshalls letter to me,4 but still I think it ought not to be published, because it wod. be understood to come from me however disguis’d, and thus compromit me with one of the greatest as well as most contemptable of villains: and this is their object. Did you ever give to Mr. D. the paper you shewed me?5 If you did not will you be so kind as send it him with such advise as you think necessary.

We shall not I think be able to visit you this winter, Mrs. Buckner my sister,6 with her family being with us; she being in bad health will I hope remain with us, especially as her presence will equally benefit herself, & Mrs. M. who has also of late been much indisposed. Our best respects to Mrs. Madison & yr. father & his Lady.

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Signature clipped.

1The letter of “Junius” to John Skey Eustace of New York was published in the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 28 Nov. 1798. Eustace (1760–1805), a former classmate of Monroe’s at the College of William and Mary, served as an officer in the Continental line and aide-de-camp to Gen. Charles Lee during the Revolution. Appointed a colonel in the French army in 1792, he rose to the rank of maréchal de camp, which he held until his resignation in September 1793. Expelled from Holland in 1798, he returned to the U.S. An ardent Jacobin and experienced political polemicist, Eustace wrote a series of articles signed “An American Soldier” for the N.Y. Gazette and General Advertiser attacking Monroe for his conduct as minister to France (Lee Kennett, “John Skey Eustace and the French Revolution,” American Society Legion of Honor Magazine, 45 [1974]: 29–43; see also Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (27 vols.; New York, 1961–87). description ends , 22:216 n. 8).

2The Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser referred to Eustace as the volunteer aide-de-camp of Gen. Alexander Hamilton in squibs published on 26 and 30 Nov. and 1 Dec. 1798.

3Alexander Hamilton was the newly appointed inspector general of the U.S. Army.

4This was possibly a letter written to Monroe by Eustace in 1796 while Monroe was minister to France (Kennett, “John Skey Eustace,” p. 41).

5Document not identified (see JM to Monroe, 11 Dec. 1798).

6Elizabeth Monroe Buckner was married to Capt. William Buckner of Mill Hill, Caroline County, Virginia (W. P. Cresson, James Monroe [Chapel Hill, N.C., 1946], p. 506).

Index Entries