James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert J. Evans, 31 December 1819

From Robert J. Evans

Philada. December 31. 1819

Respected Sir,

I take the liberty of forwarding you the first number of a monthly publication entitled the “Rural Magazine”1 which will be published tomorrow. The Editors are sons of Mr. Benjamin Johnson2 one of the oldest and most respectable booksellers of this city under whose immediate superintendance the work will be conducted.

In this part of the Union we are not ignorant of the interest you take in agricultural improvements and have witnessed with no ordinary pleasure, an individual descending wth distinguished honour, from the most elevated station in the world, that of Chief Magistrate of a free people, to mingle with out ceremony amongst his fellow citizens, endeavouring at the same time with zeal and ability to promote their most substantial interests.

This magazine is of humble pretensions, but might with the necessary aid and encouragement, become a respectable agent in the dissemination of useful knowledge among the worthy yeomanry of the country. Excuse the liberty I have again taken and believe me to be With undissembled respect Your friend & fellow citizen

Robert J Evans

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Richards and Caleb Johnson, eds., The Rural Magazine, and Literary Evening Fire-Side (Philadelphia, 1820), ran monthly for twelve issues and then ceased publication.

2Benjamin Johnson (ca. 1766–1822?) was a Quaker printer and bookseller, first in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he published the Neue Unpartheyische Readinger Zeitung, 1789–90, and then in Philadelphia, where in 1819, he operated a bookstore on High Street. Hezekiah Niles was apprenticed to Johnson from 1794 to 1797 (Benjamin Johnson Diary, 1796–97 [Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection], 85; Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 2:970; John Adams Paxton, The Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1819 [Philadelphia, 1819; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 49079]; Schmidt, Hezekiah Niles and American Economic Nationalism, 6).

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