James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Moody, 7 January 1799

From John Moody

Richmond 7th. January 1798 [1799]

Dear sir

Although My Acquaintance with you is a Very Small [one] I have taken the liberty To Address you. In Porcupines Paper of 27h. & 28h Decmber is a piece under the Signature (of a True federalist Though a Virginian) Dated the 10h. of December Implicating a Number of My frends Incoludeing you and myself in a Very Scurillious Manner.1 As I am Not a Publick Speaker on Politicks and Persueing the Merchantile Bussness for the Support of myself and familly I feel Myself Very Much hurt that My Name Should be thus Exposed in this Publick Manner. I Should think it a Compliment was it the Production of Infamous Peter But as it appears of this Place is the Reason why I am Touched. Should you think it worth your Notice to Peruse the Peiece I would be Extreamely Gratifyed at Receiving a line from you If Convenient. I am a Republican by Nature Birth and family. I am Dear sir your Most Obt.

John Moody2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM, “Jany. 7. 1798.”

1The piece, dated Richmond, 10 Dec. 1798, described in unflattering terms the creation of a Republican organization that included, among others, John Taylor of Caroline, William Branch Giles, Edmund Randolph, and William Foushee. “It is said,” the writer noted, “the Secretary to the Junto is to be a John Moody, who is noted for his knowledge and great abilities, particularly in writing letters, if it were to save his life he could not write three lines tolerable English.” Nor was JM spared. “I don’t believe,” the writer continued, “that either John Taylor, William B. Giles, or James Madison, ever jumped into the mouth of a cannon when it was charged, or ever heard one fired against an enemy” (Philadelphia Porcupine’s Gazette, 28 Dec. 1798).

2John Moody (1746–1826) was a Revolutionary War veteran and a Richmond merchant (Richmond Enquirer, 3 Oct. 1826).

Index Entries