James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 13 May 1814

From James Monroe

Washington May 13. 1814

Dear Sir

The affr. of the convention, is the most embarrassing that I have ever known. On further reflection, after the departure of Mr Ganntt, I was apprehensive that I might have expressd myself rather too strongly in my private letter to genl. winder, as to the ratification of the conventn., into which I was of course led by a desire to make a suitable impression on his mind, & in consequence I wrote him a letter of wh. the inclosed is a copy.1 On still more mature consideration, I am of opinion, that with the hint in this, it is put on the best footing, that it can be, under existing circumstances. With great respect & esteem sincerely yours

Jas Monroe

The letter was forwarded to the commanding officer on the lines with instructed [sic] to transmit it immediately to General winder.

RC and enclosure (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosed copy of Monroe’s 12 May 1814 private letter to Brig. Gen. William H. Winder (2 pp.) stated that in his haste to send his previous private letter to Winder, Monroe had probably overstepped his bounds by asserting that the exchange convention would not be ratified. The matter would be submitted to JM, Monroe wrote, and Winder should meanwhile “avoid any declaration on this point.” The administration faced “serious difficulties” whether it accepted or rejected the convention, but Monroe believed that Winder would “do every thing that can be done to extract us from so distressing a dilemma.”

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