James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Richard Peters, 22 February 1823

To Richard Peters

Montpellier Feby. 22. 1823

Dear Sir

I have recd. the copy of your Agricultural Address in Jany. last,1 which I have read with much pleasure, and as always, not without finding instructive ideas. You have done very right in taking occasion to record the fact which shews that your Society is the Mother of the American family, and to present a fair view of its public services; with respect to which you might say, tho’ you will not say “quorum pars Maxima fui.”2

You will pardon me for noting an error in the reference to the Resolutions of the Albemarle Society, as requesting the co-operation of the Societies in other States. The request was addressed to the other Societies in this State. I must take the blame in part at least to myself. I ought to have let it appear, when I forwarded you a Copy, that it was a friendly only not an official Communication. With my continued esteem & all my best wishes

James Madison

RC (WHi); draft (DLC). Addressed and franked by JM to Peters in Philadelphia. Postmarked 25 Feb. at Orange Court House. Docketed by Peters “Ansd. 4 March.” Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.

1Letter not found. Richard Peters, Address Delivered before the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, at Its Annual Meeting, on the Twenty-Third of January, 1823 (Philadelphia, 1823; Shoemaker 13738).

2Quorum pars maxima fui: of which I was the greatest part. Aeneas, in Virgil’s Aeneid 2.6, says about the events of the Trojan War, “quorum pars magna fui,” that is, “whereof I was no small part” (Loeb Classical Library [2 vols.; Cambridge, Mass., 1934], 1:294–95).

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