James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William Harris Crawford, [post–17] February 1820

To William Harris Crawford

[post–17] Feby1 1820

Dr. Sir

Yours of Feby 12.2 with the medal from Ct. Marbois were duly handed to me by Genl. Browne.3 Will you do me the favor whenever you have occasion to write to the Ct. to make my acknowlegments for this token of his polite attention, and assure him that he has a full return of the friendly sentiments & wishes expressed by him.

I learn with pleasure from Genl. Brown that you enjoy good health in the midst of your official fatigues. I hope the former will continue & that the latter will accomplish for our Country all the good which I am sure is the object of your  .4

When do you meditate an excursion into the Country, or a trip to Georgia. In either case it need not be repeated, that Montpr. has ever the most cordial welcome for Mrs C. & yourself, to both of whom Mrs. M joins in sending sincere respects, & of every good wish.

Draft (DLC). Day of month not indicated; conjectural day assigned based on evidence in n. 3 below. At the head of draft JM wrote: “Wm. H. Crawford.” On the verso, in JM’s hand, are figure calculations and the words “Blankets” and “Dinah,” the latter perhaps referring to his female slave of that name.

1Here JM originally wrote, then crossed through “25.”

2The letter has not been found, however, Crawford wrote to Jefferson on the same day, informing him that “Major General Brown will deliver to you a bronze medal, struck in commemoration of the casting and erection of an Equestrian statue of Henry the 4. of France, which has been sent to me by the Marquis Marbois” (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

3Maj. Gen. Jacob Jennings Brown, accompanied by John A. Dix, Edmund Kirby, and Samuel Storrow, arrived at Montpelier on 17 Feb. for a two-day visit (John D. Morris, Sword of the Border: Major General Jacob Jennings Brown, 1775–1828 [Kent, Ohio, 2000], 166, 169, 217). Dix’s recollection of the visit follows: “In the spring of   [left blank in text] I went with General Brown on an excursion into the interior of Virginia, the chief object of which was to pay a visit to Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson. Our first pause was at Montpelier, the residence of the former, in Orange County. It was under his administration that the general received the commission which laid the foundation of his military reputation, and I need not say that the meeting was a cordial one on both sides. We passed two days with him, charmed with his interesting and instructive conversation, the graceful and unaffected hospitality of his wife, and the devoted attention of his son, Payne Todd. Mr. Madison was of low stature and quiet manners, and with no physical traits to mark the eminence he had attained; but his conversation, though simple and unpretending, would soon have impressed one entirely ignorant of his political career with the conviction that he was a man of great intellectual power, with a large and varied experience in public affairs” (Morgan Dix, comp., Memoirs of John Adams Dix [2 vols.; New York, 1883], 1:58).

4Left blank in draft.

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