James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Samuel B. H. Judah, 14 June 1822

From Samuel B. H. Judah

N⟨ew⟩ York June 14th 1822

Respected sir

I have the honor to present you a copy of a poem1 that has obtained some considerable reputation in this country and is now republishing in England—but be assured I have not the vanity to think in sending to you that it is worthy of yr. notice but as a sincere tho’ poor testimony of the reverance an unknown youth holds for the venerable patriot to whom his country owes so much. I should never have presumed to forward it faulty as I know it is but that being flattered by the favorable opinion expressed of it from several of our most distinguished critics I thought It might perhaps amuse you in an hour of Leisure. I beg of you not to judge of it by the strict rules of composition—it is the first work of the Kind from the pen of an youth of scarce sixteen years old—who if it should be his fate to try his pen again feels assured that another production will do himself more honor and perhaps add a laurel to his country. I have the honor to be Yr. Most obdt. serv.

Saml B H Judah2

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Addressed by Judah to JM at Washington, and franked; redirected to Orange Court House. Docketed by JM.

1Samuel B. H. Judah, Odofriede: The Outcast; A Dramatic Poem (New York, 1822; Shoemaker 9173).

2Samuel Benjamin Helbert Judah (1799–1876), was a New York City playwright, who in addition to writing the romantic dramatic poem, Odofriede, wrote a number of melodramas that were produced for the stage in the early 1820s. Judah is perhaps best known for Gotham and the Gothamites (1823), a scurrilous satire on prominent political and social New Yorkers for which he was imprisoned (Stephen H. Norwood and Eunice G. Pollack, eds., Encyclopedia of American Jewish History [2 vols.; Santa Barbara, Calif., 2008], 1:539).

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