James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William Lee, 14 June 1805

To William Lee

Washington June 14. 1805

Dear Sir

Having found you so often ready to execute my little commissions, I take the liberty of asking the further favor of you to send me, in time to be here before the winter, six dozen best Bourdeaux red wine—and nine dozen if a cheaper sort also red to be used with water; with a quarter cask of best wine vinegar, or to be in bottles if you think it as well as that form. The Liqueiers you procured for me were, in most of the kinds extremely good.1 Be so obliging as to send about a hundred bottles consisting of L’huile de Jupiter—Venus—Rose—Orange—Noyau.2

This will be handed you by Mr. Robert Gamble.3 He is the sonn [sic] of a respectable Merchant in Richmond, and visits France with a view to some Commercial arrangements. Your civilities & services to him, will I believe, be well placed and will oblige Dear Sir, yours with great respect

James Madison

RC (IMunS: Feehan Memorial Library). Unaddressed; addressee assigned on the basis of internal evidence.

1For JM’s earlier dealings with Lee for orders of wine, see JM to Lee, 6 Apr. 1803 and 7 Feb. 1804, and Lee to JM, 10 July 1804 (PJM-SS, description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 4:485, 486 n., 6:445, 7:437 and n.)

2Oil of Jupiter and oil of Venus are infusions of various fruits and spices steeped in alcohol. Oil of Jupiter contains citrus flavors, and oil of Venus is flavored with caraway and anise (Richard Dolby, The Cook’s Dictionary, and Housekeeper’s Directory: A New Family Manual of Cookery and Confectionery, on a Plan of Ready Reference Never Hitherto Attempted [London, 1833], 371).

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