James Madison Papers

From James Madison to James Monroe, 6 January 1821

To James Monroe

Montpellier Jany. 6. 1821

Dear Sir

Mr. Hackley called on me a few days ago on his way to Washington. I found him very intelligent and of agreeable manners. He observed a commendable delicacy in the part of his conversation, which touched his personal hopes from the Government; but it was not concealed that he aspired to some provision under its patronage. He will doubtless be, if he has not already been, more explicit & particular at the seat of Govt.

I can add nothing to what you know of the public career of this gentleman; and as to his actual standing at large, I must be less competent to judge than you probably are. Of his capacity for public service, I derived a higher opinion from the opportunity afforded by his visit than I had previously formed. But what I took up the pen chiefly to state, & what may be less known to you, is that he is on the best footing with Mrs. H’s1 highly respectable connections & friends, who profess a particular esteem for him; and taking a warm interest in his welfare, wd. be much gratified by any beneficial marks of the confidence of the Governt. In making this circumstance known to you, and in adding that I should of course, sympathize very sincerely in any result favorable to him and his family, I am not unaware that private wishes, are always under the controul of public considerations, and that a casting weight only can be allowed them, when an equilibrium occurs in the latter. Mr. H. I find indulges a persuasion that he will have the benefit of this weight in the friendly dispositions both of yourself and the Secretary of State. Health & success

James Madison

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers).

1Harriet Randolph Hackley was a sister of Thomas Mann Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law.

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