James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William Bentley, 27 December 1809

To William Bentley

Washington Decr. 27. 1809


In consequence of your favor of the 11th. instant, I have addressed the few lines inclosed, to General Stark. If the possession of this sincere testimony of my esteem be entirely satisfactory, it may perhaps be as well, that it should not be followed by a publication; the sole object being, to contribute in that form, whatever gratification may be afforded him, by learning the sentiments of one, of whom he has been pleased to think and to speak so favorably. With entire confidence in your judicious estimate of the case, I limit myself to this intimation.1 Accept assurances of my esteem, and of my friendly respects.

James Madison

RC (owned by Gilman School, Baltimore, Md., 1984); draft (DLC). Enclosed JM to John Stark, 26 Dec. 1809.

1In the draft, JM first wrote: “I have too much confidence, however, in your judgment, not to limit myself to this intimation.” In his diary, Bentley noted receipt of the letter with its enclosure and commented: “The President is very desirous that it should not appear to [be] an electioneering trick which it certainly was not upon the best evidence I can possess, who knew the whole progress of the work & the real occasion & purpose of his writing” (Diary of William Bentley, 3:488).

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