James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 9 November 1800

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello Nov. 9. 1800.

Dear Sir

This will be handed you by mr. Erwin, a gentleman of Boston, with whom I became acquainted last winter on a letter of introduction from old Saml. Adams. He is sensible, well informed & strongly republican, wealthy & well allied in his own state & in England. He calls to pay his respects to you. I inclose you two letters which the Govr. sent me by him for perusal.1 It is a pity that a part of one of them was not put into the papers, to shew the effects our maniac proceedings have had, & were intended to have. When perused, be so good as to re-inclose them to the Governor by the same bearer. I think it possible that mr. Adams may put some foolish things into his speech on the possibility of it’s being his valedictory one; and that this may give the Senate an opportunity again of shewing their own malice. I propose therefore to give time for the speech & answer to be over before I arrive there. At present I think of being with you on Friday the 21st. on my way. I have a great deal to do however before I can get away. The Republicans in Charleston have lost 11. out of 15 in their city election.2 The country is said to be firm: but this I imagine cannot be counted on, considering local & personal interests & prejudices. Nor do I rely on what Govr. Fenner of R. I. said to mr. Alston.3 You know that 2. of the 3. counties of Delaware elected Fedl. represent. to their legislature. Health & affection.

Th: Jefferson

P. S. I send by mr. Erwin 9. copies of Callendar’s Prospect forwarded me for you.4

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers). RC addressed by Jefferson to JM, “favd. by mr. Erwin.”

1On 6 Nov. 1800 Monroe wrote to Jefferson: “I send you the letters of Mr. Skipwith and Fenwick wch. support the statement in the paper I gave Mr. R. [Thomas Mann Randolph]. If they will be of any use retain them; if not enclose them to Mr. Madison to be returned me, by Mr. Ervin” (Hamilton, Writings of Monroe description begins Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, ed., The Writings of James Monroe … (7 vols.; New York and London, 1898–1903). description ends , 3:219).

2A report of the Charleston, South Carolina, city elections was published in the Richmond Va. Argus, 31 Oct. 1800.

3Arthur Fenner was governor of Rhode Island from 1790 to 1805. He had promised Aaron Burr to give one of his votes as elector to Jefferson but subsequently withdrew his name from the electoral ticket. Adams and Pinckney carried Rhode Island (Burr to John Taylor of Caroline, 18 Dec. 1800, Kline, Papers of Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr (2 vols.; Princeton, N.J., 1983). description ends , 1:472–73).

4James Thomson Callender was incarcerated in the Richmond jail after he was convicted of sedition for the publication of the first volume of his pamphlet The Prospect before Us (Richmond, 1800; Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). description ends 37083). Undaunted, Callender continued to write essays from jail that appeared in the Petersburg Republican and that, collected together, he published as The Prospect before Us, vol. 2, pt. 1 (Richmond, 1800; Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). description ends 37084). On 1 Nov. 1800 Callender wrote Jefferson that he was enclosing some copies of his latest pamphlet and added, “I used the freedom … of inclosing 9 for Mr. Madison, who is a Subscriber, or was to the first part, for 15 copies, so that I hazard nothing with him in sending him 9. I did not know his address; but I understand that his place is not at a considerable distance from yours” (Sowerby, Catalogue of Jefferson’s Library, 3:424).

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