James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Mathew Carey, 1 November 1822

From Mathew Carey

Philada. Nov. 1. 1822

Dear sir,

I have duly recd your favour of the 25th ult. and have read it with the attention to which the writer & the subject are entitled.

You will pardon me for stating that I think you have greatly overrated the difficulties in the way of a sound system of policy for this Country, wh. would cure all its evils, & place it on the exalted ground, to which its immense advantages, natural moral, & political entitle it, instead of wasting its resources in the support of the industry & governments of Europe. We exhibit to the world the shocking spectacle of imbecility & folly, in submitting, without retaliation to the exclusion of the third (formerly the first or second) staple of the nation—& why? Because a few merchants, regardless of the interests of the country, and really blind to their own, clamour against any alteration of the tariff, reecho the cuckoo note—let-us-alone—while they have, from the commencement of the government, been almost constantly goading the government for restrictions on foreign Commerce; & retaliations of all measures that restrained or injured our commerce. Your administration affords a thousand proofs of the justice of their claims of peculiar privileges & protection.

I shall take the liberty of resuming the subject, at no distant day. Meanwhile I request you will accept the assurances of the most sincere esteem & regard of Your obt. hble. servt.

Mathew Carey

PS. I enclose two numbers of Hamilton.1

RC (DLC). Addressed by Carey to JM at “Monticello Va.,” and franked. Docketed by JM.

1Carey published five essays under the pen name “Hamilton,” attacking the “let us alone policy of our government,” and supporting a protective tariff. They appeared in the Daily National Intelligencer on 4 and 17 Sept., 3 and 23 Oct., and 8 Nov. 1822, and were also published in pamphlet form. JM’s copies of numbers 2, 4, and 5 are in the Madison Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

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