James Madison Papers

From James Madison to [James Monroe?], 3 November 1822

To [James Monroe?]


Montpellier Novr 3 1822

Dear Sir

My neighbour & your Acquaintance Mr Richard Taliaferro1 is desirous that one of his sons2 should receive a military education at West Point. His progress in the preparatory studies is certified by his present Tutor, and I have myself had a slight opportunity of witnessing that he has some knowledge of Latin. Of his general character I know nothing which is not favorable. If there be no bar to the admission of the youth as a Cadet, from the distributive or any other established rule, your dispositions towards the father will ensure attention to the just pretensions of the son.

I make this a private letter the rather, as my declining interposition in some other cases, might subject me to dissatisfactions where I do not wish them to be felt. The truth is, I promised Mr. T. to drop you a few lines without taking this obstacle into consideration; his request being made in a transient interview. Health & every other happiness

James Madison

Printed facsimile of RC (Superior Galleries, The Moreira Collection Sale, Part 3 and Other Important Properties Auction and Mail Bid Sale January 29, 30, 31, 1989 Catalogue [Beverly Hills, Calif.], item 5078). Addressee not indicated; most likely to James Monroe owing to the complimentary close.

1Richard Henry Taliaferro was the proprietor of Ashland, a plantation in Orange County, Virginia (Miller, Antebellum Orange, 121).

2Peachy R. Taliaferro was accepted as a cadet at West Point in 1823 but was discharged from the academy in 1824 (John Gilmer Speed, The Gilmers in America [New York, 1897], 188; Peachy R. Taliaferro to John C. Calhoun, 10 Mar. 1823, Robert L. Meriwether et al., eds., The Papers of John C. Calhoun [28 vols.; Columbia, S.C., 1959–2003], 7:512, 8:526 n.).

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