James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 11 December 1809

To Thomas Jefferson

Washington Decr. 11. 1809

Dear Sir

I duly recd: your two letters of the 26. & 30. Ult. The State of Col. Monroe’s mind is very nearly what I had supposed. His willingness to have taken a seat in the Cabinet, is what I had not supposed. I have written to Majr. Neele,1 according to your suggestion, and shall follow it also as to the distribution of Govr. Lewis’s papers when they arrive. Fayette in a letter to me has been equally urgent on the subject of his land titles which are required as the basis of a loan. Owing to delays incident to the distance & the nature of the proceedings in consummating land titles, and more particularly to the miscarriage of a mail containing instructions from Mr. Gallatin, which was long unknown to him, the business has never been compleated. I have renewed my efforts to accelerate it; and have so written to Fayette, by the Ship Jno. Adams, which carries a remittance from the Treasury to Holland, and will touch at France & England for collateral purposes. It was found cheaper to make the remittance in this way, than by Bills of Exch: at their present rate. The papers will tell you what Congs. are about. There is not as yet any appearance, by which their course can be foretold. The Republicans as usual are either not decided, or have different leanings. The Federalists are lying in wait, to spring on any oppy. of checking or diverting the tide now setting so strongly agst. them. The wound recd. by Mr J. G. Jackson, is thought at present to wear a very favorable appearance. As the Ball however remains in him, and the Hip bone, is much broken, it is not certain that he may not be left somewhat of a Cripple.2 Be assured always of my high & Affecte. esteem

James Madison

I return the letters from Armstrong and Majr. Neele.

RC (DLC). Docketed by Jefferson, “recd. Dec. 14.”

1JM’s letter to James Neelly has not been found.

2John G. Jackson had fought a duel with the North Carolina Federalist congressman Joseph Pearson on 4 Dec. over some remarks printed in the National Intelligencer on 24 July 1809. Originally scheduled for 23 Oct. 1809, the duel was postponed until after Congress had reconvened in the fall. Jackson’s injuries may have contributed to his decision to retire from politics in the fall of 1810 (Jackson to Dolley Madison, 23 Oct. 1809 [ViU: Breckinridge-Watts Papers]; Brown, Voice of the New West, pp. 85–92).

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