James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elbridge Gerry, 16 June 1801

From Elbridge Gerry

NewYork 16th June 1801

Dear Sir

I have received a letter from Mrs Corran, formerly Mrs Bland,1 at Paris, expressing “a wish to acquire for Mr Corran an appointment of Consul.” I do not know the Gentleman, or his character; you are probably acquainted with both, & can judge of the expediency & policy of the measure. Havre de Grace, or Antwerp she prefers, & states, that “tho her husband was a subject to England, his opinions are perfectly republican”; that “he is at present in Denmark, has a considerable landed property there, & is a burgher of Copenhagen & Hamburg & citizen of Denmark.[”]

Give me leave, Sir, to congratulate you on the happy prospects of our country. The administration of Mr Jefferson, thus far, has done him great honor, & will equal in popularity, I think, if not rival that of General Washington. The prostration of the dignity of the last executive, by an oligarchical faction, will serve as a becon to succeeding governments to guard against the baleful influence of such unconstitutional & dangerous combinations. The “good friends” of the President have urged, that he will be deficient in firmness. We well know, that he will not be precipitated into rashness, between which & the former they make no distinction. But the specimens already given of his system, are pledges, that in his future conduct, the suaviter & fortiter will be united. Permit me to assure you Sir of my highest esteem & respect, & that I remain your very huml Sert

E Gerry

RC (DLC: Henry A. Willard Autograph Collection).

1Martha Daingerfield Bland Blodget Corran had been married to JM’s congressional colleague Theodorick Bland. After the death of her second husband, Nathan Blodget, she married a sea captain and moved to France (WMQ, 1st ser., 9 [1900–1901]: 189).

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