James Madison Papers

Memorandum to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 8 February 1805]

Memorandum to Thomas Jefferson

[ca. 8 February 1805]

+ insert

“thro’ the transactions of a portion of our Citizens whose intelligence & arrangements best shi[e]ld them agst the abuses, as well as inconveniences incident to the collection”1

Religion—substitute “as religious exercises, could therefore be neither controuled nor prescribed by us. They have accordingly been left as the Constitution found them, under the direction & discipline acknowledged within the several States”2

Indians “no desire” instead of “nothing to desire”3 substitute “Who feeling themselves in the present order of things and fearing to become nothing in any other, inculcate a blind attachment to the customs of their fathers in opposition to every light & example which wd. conduct them into a more improved State of existence. But the day I hope is not far distant when their prejudices will yield to their true interests & they will take their stand &c4

press — strike out from “their own affairs”5

last page — alter to—“views become manifest to them [”]6

RC (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Undated; date assigned based on Jefferson’s docket on verso: “Departmt. State. recd. Feb. 8. 05. inaugural.” Unsigned; in JM’s hand. Addressee not indicated; identified as Jefferson by his docket.

1JM placed a cross and the word “insert” at the beginning of this clause to replace the words “by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being collected on our seaboard and frontiers only” near the beginning of the fifth paragraph of Jefferson’s second inaugural address (see Richardson, Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1:367). On 12 Feb. 1805 Jefferson also received suggestions from Gallatin for changes to the address (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

2JM’s suggestion was not incorporated into the seventh paragraph of the address, in which Jefferson discusses religious freedom under the Constitution (Richardson, Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1:367–68).

3Jefferson incorporated this suggestion into the eighth paragraph of the address, in which he discusses the necessity of persuading “the aboriginal inhabitants” to alter their way of living (ibid., 368).

4JM suggested these sentences be inserted in paragraph nine of the address, in which Jefferson discusses the arguments of those in the native community against altering their traditional customs. Jefferson did not take the suggestion (ibid.).

5JM probably referred here to the ending of paragraph twelve, which describes the benefits of a free press (ibid., 369).

6JM suggested this phrase replace the words “satisfied of these views” in the fourteenth paragraph of the address. It did not (ibid., 370).

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