James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Lafayette, 21 August 1824

To Lafayette

Aug. 21. 1824

I this instant learn, my dear friend, that you have safely reached the shores, where you will be hailed by every voice of a free people.1 That of no one, as you will believe, springs more from the heart than mine. May I not hope that the course of your movements will give me an opportunity of proving it, by the warmth of my embrace on my own threshold. Make me happy by a line to that effect when you can snatch a moment for a single one, from the eager gratulations pouring in upon you. With constant affection Yours

J. M.

Draft (DLC).

1Lafayette arrived in New York harbor on 15 Aug. 1824. He had been invited by Congress to visit the United States, and participate in the anniversary celebration of the 1781 surrender of the British at Yorktown, Virginia. In the course of his year-long farewell tour, he visited all twenty-four states and was exhaustively feted as the “Nation’s Guest” everywhere. Lafayette was welcomed at Monticello, the University of Virginia, and Orange Court House, celebrations in which JM participated, and he stayed with the Madisons at Montpelier twice, the first time in November 1824, and the second in August 1825 (Cunningham, Presidency of James Monroe, 170–72; JM to Dolley Madison, 5 Nov. 1824; Account of Lafayette’s Visit to Montpelier, 15–19 Nov. 1824; Address to the Citizens of Orange, 19 Nov. 1824; Hugh Mercer to JM, 23 Aug. 1825, and n. 1).

Index Entries