James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Ray, 4 October 1809

From William Ray

Florida, near Amsterdam post Office, Montgomery County, (N. Y.)
October 4th. 1809.


Early last Spring I lodged a Book entitled “Horrors of Slavery” in the post Office,1 to be sent to you at Washington, together with a poetical epistle; and having some doubts respecting its safe arrival, on account of my not receiving any a[n]swer, I have taken the liberty to request you to let me know, as speedily as convenient, whether you have, or have not received it. The latter of which I am most inclined to believe; for I am not willing to suspect that even the Chief Magistrate of a free people, who owes his political existance to the suffrage of men of all ranks, would treat with silent contempt the honest effusions or the well-meant offering of one who has greatly suffered in the cause of that Government over which he presides. I am, Sir, with high Consideration, Your most obedient Humle. Servant.

Wm. Ray.


1Ray sent his book, Horrors of Slavery; or, The American Tars in Tripoli, to JM on 22 Mar. 1809. The work was based on Ray’s personal experiences as a captured American seaman (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984-). description ends , 1:73 n. 1).

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