James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph M. Sanderson, 9 December 1820

From Joseph M. Sanderson

Washington City Dec. 9: 1820.

Dear Sir

I have taken the liberty of sending to your address the first volume of the Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence.1 Should you find any thing in it worth the perusal, I will thank you for your recommendation, & as the succeeding volumes are published, I shall, with your permission, forward them to you.

As the work is intended to perpetuate the lives of men distinguished for their patriotism and virtues, & as its excellence will, in some measure, depend upon the contributions of their cotemporaries, I hope it will not be considered improper, the application I make for any facts in your possession. The anxious solicitude for presenting the work to the publick in the best Shape, will serve as an apology for this request. With great respect, I remain Your humble servant

Joseph M. Sanderson2


RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1John Sanderson et al., Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence (9 vols.; Philadelphia, 1820–27).

2Joseph M. Sanderson, John Sanderson’s brother (see n. 1 above), was a Philadelphia printer who acquired the newspaper Aurora in 1822. By 1823 he had been appointed superintendent of the Merchants’ Coffee House, and in 1834 held the same position for its successor, the Merchants Exchange. In 1837 Sanderson operated the Merchants’ Hotel at Fourth Street between Market and Arch. He introduced the first cab in Philadelphia (Times, and Hartford Advertiser, 26 Nov. 1822; Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot, 20 Dec. 1823; Samuel Hazard, Hazard’s Register of Pennsylvania 13 [1834]: 12; A Guide to the Lions of Philadelphia … [Philadelphia, 1837], 54; Nicholas B. Wainwright, “Diary of Samuel Breck, 1839–1840,” PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. description ends 103 [1979]: 504 and n. 16).

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