James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George W. Featherstonhaugh, 1 March 1820

From George W. Featherstonhaugh

Duanesburgh State of New York March 1. 1820.


I have the honour to enclose to You An Address from the Board of Agriculture of the State of New York to the County Societies of the State.1

Permit me Sir to request for the Board a printed Copy, if it has been put into the pamphlet Form, of Your eloquent and truly philosophical Address upon Agriculture, which we have Seen only in the publick Papers.

I have also to express a wish on the part of the Board to open a Correspondence with the Agricultural Associations of the State of Virginia, upon all occasions which promise advantage to the Agricultural interests of America.

I have the Satisfaction to add that the institution of our Board of Agriculture, the first and only one I believe in this Country; is a very popular measure here, and that a Bill is now before the Senate of this State, having passed the Assembly, to Extend the provisions of the Act for ten Years. I have the honour to remain Sir With a true respect Your most obt & hble Servant

G W Featherstonhaugh2

RC (NN). Docketed by JM.

1Address of the General Committee of the Board of Agriculture of the State of New-York, to the County Agricultural Societies, for 1820. With Accompanying Documents (Albany, N.Y., 1820; Shoemaker 2478). JM’s copy, with Featherstonhaugh’s presentation inscription, is in the Madison Collection, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

2George William Featherstonhaugh (1780–1866) was an Englishman who married Sarah (Sally) Duane and settled in Duanesburg, New York, near Albany, in 1808, where he farmed on a grand scale. He promoted the idea of a New York state board of agriculture and became its secretary once it was established in 1820. A member of the American Philosophical Society, Featherstonhaugh cultivated an interest in geology and mineralogy throughout his life, accepting an appointment as a U.S. geologist in 1834. Featherstonhaugh remained a British citizen, however, and in 1844 he was appointed British consul at Le Havre, France (Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Smith Berkeley, George William Featherstonhaugh: The First U.S. Government Geologist [Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1988], 1, 13–14, 17, 18–19, 21, 26, 114, 207–8, 271, 317).

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