James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Henry Lee, 22 April 1824

To Henry Lee

Montpellier Apl. 22. 1824

J. Madison acknowledges with thanks the receipt of the volume1 which Major Lee has been so good as to send him. He delays the perusal of it till he can precede it by that of the work which it reviews. If injustice, however occasioned, has been done to the Memory of General Lee,2 a vindication of it cannot but be acceptable to one whose friendship contracted with him at the earliest date, was particularly gratified by the brilliant career which ranked him among the most distinguished of our Revolutionary heroes.

RC (ViHi); draft (DLC). RC addressed with name only by JM to Lee, and franked. Draft written above draft of JM to Robert S. Garnett, 22 Apr. 1824. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.

1In the draft JM placed an asterisk here and at the bottom of the page wrote: “*his critique on Judge Johnston [sic].” Lee objected to the treatment of his father (see n. 2 below) in William Johnson’s Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene (2 vols.; Charleston, S.C., 1822).

2Henry Lee (1756–1818), the cavalry leader of the American Revolution known as Light-Horse Harry, served with JM in the Continental Congress, 1786–88, and in the Virginia Ratifying Convention. He was governor of Virginia, 1791–94, and served as a Federalist in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1799–1801. In later life he was plagued by debt and the severe wounds he received in the Baltimore Riot of 1812 that eventually led to his death (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 1:20 n. 2, 5:585 n. 1).

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