James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John G. Jackson, 1 April 1811

From John G. Jackson

Clarksburg April 1st 1811

My dear Sir.

I often resist the desire to write you from a consciousness that the labors of your station make the task of reading letters irksome; & render any thing like a regular correspondence impossible. But as our meeting again is doubtful, or at best remote; I venture sometimes to obtrude myself upon you as the only mode in which I can have the pleasure of communing with you. A conjecture has reached me that Mr. Monroe was to fill the Office vacated by Mr. Smith & no doubt its truth or fallacy has been already established. As I heretofore conversed freely with you on that subject I think it not amiss to take the liberty of writing on it now. I am perfectly satisfied that his appointment then would have been beneficial at home & abroad. Here, because there are some who cling to him as a leader in opposition; whose insincerity would long since have been exposed. And elsewhere because the B Ministry consider him as feeling more cordiality towards their nation than you do because of the rejected Treaty and buoyed up by the supposed schisms amongst us imagine that Mr. M is an host in their favor. Perhaps I thought differently at your installation but of that I am not certain, as I was urged to mention the opinions of Others more than to suggest any of my own impressions.

Mrs. J as my letter to Mrs. M communicates1 has presented me with a Daughter; they are like to do well.2 So you see I am in better employment than quarrelling & fighting in Congress—Hercules threw by his club for the distaff—And well might I when it neither annoyed my enemies or benefitted my friends. I feel much doubt of the reelection of McKinley & so do our opponents it will be a drawn battle if such a result can be produced by a contest of almost equal strength. I salute you my Dr Sir With sincerest friendship your Mo Obt

J G Jackson

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Jackson’s letter to Dolley Madison has not been found, but in her reply of 10 Apr. 1811 she sent her love and congratulations “on this pleasing adition.” Dolley Madison also conveyed to Jackson several items of domestic and political news, principally that Monroe had become secretary of state and that “R. S. does not go to Russia. Just so. He has retired (the papers state) to what he was wont to be. Duane &c &c. take a few liberties with M on the subject tho they do not deny his right to make a secey to suit him.” On the subject of news from Europe, Dolley Madison mentioned reports that “our negociations are broken off at St. James’s & that we have nothing to expect from them—that France has repealed her decrees &c &c & will do us all favours.” As it was “D. Room night,” she concluded, “I write badly from haste as we have still, great croud’s. The New french Minister is quite a polished modest man the Russians are all the rage & Moorea [Morier] in the background” (InU: Jackson Collection).

2Since there is no record of her name or any further references to her, the child presumably did not live long (Dorothy Davis, John George Jackson [Parsons, W.Va., 1976], p. 373 n. 24).

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