James Madison Papers

From James Madison to James Breckinridge, 15 March 1821

To James Breckinridge

Mar. 15. 1821

Dear Sir

An alarm has been communicated from Richmond that you think of refusing to return thither at the next Session of the Legislature.1 I trust it has proceeded more from the anxiety of those who feel the necessity of your co-operation, than from any real danger. I well know the sacrifice you have already made, and readily conceive the just repugnance you may feel to a renewal, perhaps increase of it. I cannot but flatter myself however that you will not leave unfinished the work so much indebted to your efforts for its progress, & which I under⟨stand⟩ is likely to need them more than ever. I pray you then, my de⟨ar Sir,⟩ not to risk the effect of your absence at the critical & final ⟨struggle⟩ which awaits the University in Decr. next. I know the ⟨impor⟩tance you attach to this Institution, & I believe you do not overrate it as a source of the light & improvement so much wanted in our State. Make one more sacrifice then, & seal its triumph over the opposing difficulties. Let me add the personal hope that you will be accompanied by Mrs. Breckinridge to Richmond, & that you may be able to take Montpellier in your way. Mrs. M. & myself wd. be truly gratified by such a visit, & wd. not fail to make you both sensible of it by the warmth of our welcome. Yrs. with friendly respects & best wishes

James Madison

RC (NUtM); draft (DLC). RC addressed by JM to Breckinridge at Fincastle, Virginia. RC damaged by removal of seal; words and parts of words in angle brackets have been supplied from the draft. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.

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