James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Solomon Southwick, 12 April 1821

From Solomon Southwick

Albany, April 12, 1821.

Dr. Sir,

I take the liberty of begging your acceptance of my Address, &c. herewith Sent.1

I have only to add, that I went to Washington several years ago,2 having previously imbibed prejudi[c]es against you as a political character, but I had not conversed wit[h] you fifteen minutes, before I was convinced that I had been duped into a wrong view of your character by designing men in whom I had placed confidence. I left Washington your friend & admirer; & I felt mortified that I had yielded myself to such erroneous impressions. In the address I am send[ing] you, I have laboured to guard the inexperienced against similar errors.

I sincerely pray, that you & your good Lady, to whom please tender my respectful compliments, may long live to enjoy the pleasures of dignified retirement, & the fruits of that public liberty you have so eminently contributed to establish. Your most obed’t Serv’t

S Southwick3

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Solomon Southwick, An Address, Delivered by Appointment, in the Episcopal Church, at the Opening of the Apprentices’ Library, in the City of Albany, January 1, 1821 (Albany, N.Y., 1821; Shoemaker 6833). JM’s copy is in the Madison Collection, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

2Southwick visited Washington in the winter of 1815–16 (Southwick to JM, 30 May 1816, DLC).

3Solomon Southwick (1773–1839), a prominent Clintonian Republican, edited and published the Albany Register, 1792–1800, and 1808–17. He served as clerk of the New York Assembly, 1803–7, clerk of the New York Senate, 1807, Albany county sheriff, 1809–10, and postmaster of Albany, 1815–22. By the time of this letter, Southwick was in political and economic straits, although he ran, unsuccessfully, for governor of New York twice, in 1822 and 1828. He edited the agricultural paper, the Plough Boy, 1819–23, and the Albany National Democrat, 1823–26 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820 (2 vols.; Worcester, Mass., 1947). description ends , 1:539; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Post Office, 247–48; Albany New-York Statesman, 14 July 1820).

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