James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Spencer Roane, 20 June 1821

From Spencer Roane

Richmond, June 20th. 1821

Dear Sir

I had the honor to receive, some short time since, your interesting favour,1 on the subject which is discussed in the Enclosed Numbers. I found it extreemly able, and satisfactory, and I return you my thanks for the favour. The Enclosed No’s were written by me, just before, and have been published in the Enquirer.2 I had hoped to have had a few Copies struck in a more Eligible form, to be presented to my particular, and my distinguished friends, but have been disappointed. I now doubt whether I ought to venture to send them to you, as taken from the Columns of a news paper. Yet the subject is important; and I am desirous of placing them before the Eyes of the distinguished citizen, who, more than any other, contributed to found our excellent constitution. With great consideration, respect, and Esteem, I am, dear sir, Yr: obt: Servant

Spencer Roane

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Docketed by JM.

2The five essays written by Roane under the pseudonym “Algernon Sidney,” attacking the Supreme Court decision in Cohens v. Virginia, appeared in the Richmond Enquirer on 25 and 29 May, and 1, 5, and 8 June 1821. They are reprinted in “Virginia Opposition to Chief Justice Marshall,” John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College 2 (1906): 78–183. For a discussion of the case, see Roane to JM, 17 Apr. 1821, and n. 2.

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