James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 2 November 1799

To Thomas Jefferson

Novr. 2. 1799

Dear Sir

The Bearer Mr. Polk1 is a Portrait Painter & a kinsman of Mr. Peale of Philada. He visits Monticello with a wish to be favored with a few hours of your sitting for his pencil. Having no acquaintance with you he asks the aid of a line towards obtaining one, and this will be presented to you for the purpose. With perfect sincerity I am yours

Js. Madison Jr

RC (IGK). Docketed by Jefferson, “recd Nov. ⟨3⟩.”

1Charles Peale Polk (1767–1822) was, like his famous uncle Charles Willson Peale, a portrait painter. Polk spent the winter of 1799–1800 in Richmond and the surrounding area soliciting and executing commissions. Polk’s paintings of James Madison, Sr., and JM’s mother, Nelly Conway Madison, done during his stay at Montpelier in 1799, are owned by the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore (Lillian B. Miller, ed., The Collected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family: A Guide and Index to the Microfiche Edition [Millwood, N.Y., 1980], p. 65).

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