James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Isaac Coffin, 10 June 1819

From Isaac Coffin

London June 10th. 1819

Dear Sir

In your dignified retirement I much fear my application to you for a second Supply of wild Turkies will induce you to believe me void of Modesty and Forbearance. Two as you know out of the Six survived the Voyage, they have repeatedly deserted & have as often been secured. They are much admired by all our country Gentlemen, but have not bred to the extent contemplated. I am most anxious to have a Pair to present to our celebrated Agriculturist Mr. Coke.1 If it is not putting you to any inconvenience I will thank you at your leisure to forward me a Male and Female to Liverpool through our Consul at Alexandria.

I trust Mrs. Madison to whom I beg to be most kindly remembered has increased her Stock of Pheasants so as to be able to supply all the Ladies of her acquaintance with the Breed.

Please to direct to me to the care Thos. & Wm. Earle & Co. Merchts Liverpool. Wishing you Health & Prosperity I remain Dear Sir very faithfully Your’s

Isaac Coffin

RC (DLC). Addressed by Coffin to JM at Washington, “If not there to be forwarded to Him.” Verso of cover in upper left corner stamped “Forwarded By T&W: Earle & Co. Liverpool.”; lower half stamped “Ann Crocker.” Postmarked New York, 31 July, and franked.

1Thomas William Coke of Holkham (1754–1842), was a member of Parliament for Norfolk, with two intermissions, from 1776 to 1833. He was a staunch Whig and a supporter of Charles James Fox. His reputation, however, rests upon the agricultural improvement of his estates and his experimental farming and animal breeding. In 1817 William Patterson of Baltimore imported a pair of Coke’s Devon Shorthorn cattle; in 1833 he presented Dolley Payne Madison with a pair of calves (Mattern and Shulman, Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, 302–3, 303 n. 4).

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