James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, [4 June] 1800

From James Monroe

[Richmond, 4 June 1800]

… The conduct of the people on this occasion was exemplary, and does them the highest honour.1 They seemed aware the crisis demanded of them a proof of their respect for law and order, and resolved to show they were equal to it. I am satisfied a different conduct was expected from them, for everything that could was done to provoke it. It only remains that this business be closed on the part of the people, as it has been so far acted; that the judge, after finishing his career, go off in peace, without experiencing the slightest insult from any one; and that this will be the case I have no doubt….2

Printed extract (Selections from the Private Correspondence of James Madison, from 1813 to 1836. Published by J. C. McGuire, Exclusively for Private Distribution [Washington, 1853], p. 399 n.). Reprinted in Madison, Letters (Cong. ed.) description begins [William C. Rives and Philip R. Fendall, eds.], Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (published by order of Congress; 4 vols.; Philadelphia, 1865). description ends , 4:413 n., and Madison, Writings (Hunt ed.) description begins Gaillard Hunt, ed., The Writings of James Madison (9 vols.; New York, 1900–1910). description ends , 9:591–92 n. 1. Calendared in the lists of JM’s correspondence probably made by Peter Force (DLC, series 7, container 2) as a two-page letter (see n. 1).

1According to the Peter Force lists, Monroe’s letter concerned: “Trial conviction and sentence of Callendar for sedition. The Judges conduct on the trial. The patience of the people.”

2James Thomson Callender was brought to trial on 4 June 1800 in federal circuit court in Richmond on a charge of seditious libel based on his pamphlet The Prospect before Us (see Jefferson to JM, 9 Nov. 1800, and n. 4). The grand jury presentment, issued on 24 May, was instigated by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Despite the efforts of three prominent Republicans—Philip Norborne Nicholas, William Wirt, and George Hay—as defense counsel, Callender was convicted and sentenced to nine months in jail and a $200 fine (Smith, Freedom’s Fetters, pp. 334–58).

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