James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William A. Burwell, 21 March 1814

From William A. Burwell

Washington March 21st 1814


The enclosed letter is from the Pt of the Farmers Bank Lynchbrg Va, a man of considerable experience in trade, & of an excellent character; coming from an interior part of the country, but nevertheless extensively engaged in commerce.1 I hope it will not be consider’d improper to submit its contents to your consideration; I will however observe that altho the extent of the evil may be admitted, I think he attributes more to the Embargo than is justly chargeable to it; it is not the less important to counteract it, if that can be done by the Gov’t without compromitting the Interests of the Nation. I apprehend the balance existed against the Banks prior to the E’go—& the recent run upon them is to be traced to the effort to defeat the loan, or to the irritation which seeks by pressure upon other portions of the country to produce its repeal; I will thank you to return the letter after reading it. Yours respectfully

W. A Burwell

RC (DLC). Enclosure not found.

1Burwell referred to Charles Johnston (1769–1833), a Campbell County, Virginia, merchant who had business dealings with Thomas Jefferson. Johnston’s service as president of the Farmers’ Bank in Lynchburg ended by approximately 1819, after which he moved west to the Roanoke area. In 1827 he published A Narrative of the Incidents Attending the Capture, Detention, and Ransom of Charles Johnston, of Botetourt County, Virginia, Who Was Made Prisoner by the Indians, on the River Ohio, in the Year 1790, and sent a copy to JM (Looney et al., Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, 2:230 n., 4:318 n.; James Ambler Johnston, “The War Did Not End at Yorktown,” VMHB 60 [1952]: 447–48; CVSP 10:387–88; Johnston to JM, 4 Apr. 1826 and 21 May 1827, DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers).

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