James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 19 March 1809

To Thomas Jefferson

Washington Mar. 19. 1809

Dear Sir

Altho’ I feel reluctance in trespassing for a moment on the repose to which you have just retired, I can not well avoid inclosing a letter from Mr. La Trobe which he wishes may be seen by you before it be decided on,1 because he thinks you have already acquiesc’d in the reasonableness of its object: and which I wish you to see, because I am so raw on the whole subject, as to need any intimations you may find it convenient to give. You will observe that his proposal includes $700 for past services.

Mr. Coles left us this morning. The mail of yesterday brought a letter from Armstrong of Decr. 25. & Paris papers of the 27th. No change had taken place in our affairs. The occurrences & prospects in Spain will appear in the Natl. Intelligencer. No letter from Short, nor is he named by A. I conclude he had set out for St. P. Health & happiness.

James Madison

RC (DLC). Docketed by Jefferson, “recd Mar. 23.” Internal evidence indicates the enclosure was Latrobe’s letter to JM of 12 Mar. 1809.

1After JM sent Latrobe’s letter to Jefferson, the former president’s comments made it clear that Latrobe was claiming compensation for work done at the Capitol following Lenthall’s death. Jefferson discussed the “bad precedent” in his reply to JM, 30 Mar. 1809.

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