James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Lafayette, 26 March 1815

From Lafayette

La grange March 26th 1815

My dear Sir

The glorious termination of the war and the Ratification of the peace are Events which on Every public and personal accounts Have afforded me the Highest Satisfaction. Had Great Britain persisted in the project to Bend Her Whole force against the people of the U.S. abandonned as they Were By all the powers of Europe, I Would not Have doubted the final Success of American Bravery and patriotism—But Had felt it the duty of a Veteran to Come over as one of the many thousand Volunteering Citizens who Should Have Repaired to the Standard of freedom and independance. The treaty of Ghent Has put an End to warlike prospects on Your Side of the Atlantic. What the Journey from the isle of elbe Will produce in Europe a short time Must Develop. I need not intrude Upon the Correspondance of Mr. Crawford and other American ministers now in paris to Give You particulars which may be Collected from the Very Newspapers of both Governments. Permit me to Mention only a few objects of a private nature.

I Have not for a Very Long while Heard from M. du plantier—But Had Some Conversations upon the New orleans Location With Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Clay, the Later Being Connected with two of the Representatives of that State. I will not waste Your time in Repetitions of what they will Have the Goodness to Submit to You. But if through Your kind Concern in this affair the matter may be decided in the Course of the Year it will be for my partner a Great Relief and for me an additional obligation to Your friendship.1

Among the Citizens of the U.S. to whom I am Bound By individual ties of Gratitude there is one, Mr. Jo. Russel, now a merchant at Havre, who took the tenderest Care of my Son to forward Him over, in most difficult times, to the protecting American shore. I know He Has made Applications to You, and without presuming to interfere in Your plans, think it a pleasing Duty to Express my obligations to Him, and the interest in His behalf which they Cannot fail to Excite. With Every affectionate and Grateful Sentiment of Unalterable friendship, I beg You, my dear Sir, to accept my Best Respects


M. descaves a french gentleman of a meritorious and Amiable character is Going to America on Mercantile pursuits. If He Has the Honor to be presented to You, I will be Happy that my opinion of Him may be a recommendation in His Behalf.

RC (PHi: Dreer Collection). Docketed by JM.

1For the Louisiana lands granted to Lafayette by Congress and JM’s service as agent for them, see Madison and Lafayette’s Louisiana Lands, 26 Oct. 1809, Editorial Note, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 2:35–38.

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