James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Joseph Delaplaine, 20 March 1817

To Joseph Delaplaine

Washington Mar. 20. 1817

Dr. Sir

I have recd. yours of  1 with the preceding one on the same subject. I sincerely wish the success to your Biographical Undertaking which your exertions merit; both for your own sake, and for the gratification it is capable of affording to the Public. But having not yet perused the half volume I possess, I can not say more than was said in the few lines heretofore dropt you.2 In truth, considering the relation to the work, in which one whose life is to be included in it, may be viewed, and has already been commented on, I have concluded to wave my testimony in its behalf. Accept my friendly

James Madison

P. S. I thank you for the offer, just recd. to procure me a copy of the Portrait of Mr. Adams;3 but as I would prefer a likeness of him at the date of his Chief Magistracy, I suspend an acceptance of your proposal, untill I shall ascertain that my wish can not be attained.

RC (LNT: George H. and Katherine M. Davis Collection). Addressed by JM to Delaplaine at Philadelphia and franked. Docketed by Delaplaine.

1Left blank in Ms. JM may have been referring to Delaplaine’s letter of 27 Oct. 1816 (DLC). In that letter Delaplaine (1777–1824), a Philadelphia publisher, reiterated the request he had made in a previous letter, dated October 1816 (DLC), that JM send him a comment on his book, Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished American Characters, that Delaplaine could use publicly.

2In his reply to Delaplaine of 22 Oct. 1816 (LNT: George H. and Katherine M. Davis Collection), JM wrote of Delaplaine’s Repository that “the characters brought to view are worthy of a place in it; and that from a few pages as they offered themselves, I judge very favorably of the capacities of the pen from which they proceed.” He went on to request that Delaplaine refrain from printing his comments.

3Letter not found.

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