James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Dolley Madison, [5 November 1824]

To Dolley Madison

Monticello Friday morning 7 oC. [5 November 1824]

We arrived about sun set: just as they were commencing their Desert. The Genl. had arrived about 3 oC. with his son & Secrety. the last so sick that he went to bed instead of Dinner. I have not heard how he is this morning. I found here only the General & his family, Col. Campbel1 & Wm. Roane2 of the Council, who will attend him till he goes out of the State, and a few of the family connection. I may add Mr. Coolidge just from Boston. A large crowd had been here, including the individuals appointed to receive the Guest from Fluvanna, and the party escorting him: but they did not remain, even Genl. Cocke, to dinner. The Genl. does not say yet how many days he stays here. He declines a visit to Staunton, and will divide the time not required for the road & the appointed festivities, between Mr Jefferson & myself. It is probable he will not be with us till near or quite the middle of next week. He will have with him besides his son & Secy. the 2 Councillors, and such of the company of Orange meeting & conducting him as may chuse to stop at Montpellier. The Miss Wrights3 are expected here tomorrow. Of Mrs. Douglas & her daughters the family here have no notice. The Genl. thinks they may make a call as a morning visit only. They travel it seems with the Miss Wrights, but whether they will precede them in the visit to us is unknown, nor can I learn whether the Miss Wrights will precede or accompany or follow the Genl. I may learn more to day, but not in time to write you. The Genl. on finding I had a letter for them proposed to take charge of it, and it was given him of course. My old friend embraced me with great warmth. He is in fine health & spirits but so much increased in bulk & changed in aspect that I should not have known him. They are doing their possible at the University to do him honor. We shall set out thither about 9 oC. I can not decide till the evening when I shall return. I am not without hope that it may be tommo[ro]w. With devoted affection

J. M.

I just hear that Mr Voisin4 is better. I am hastening Paul to the post office, that the letter may be in no danger of failing, & that he may be back by 9 oC.

RC (WHi: Gratz Collection).

1John Campbell (ca. 1787–1866), a Washington County, Virginia, lawyer, educated at the College of New Jersey and Washington College, served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1810–12, and as a member of the Council of State, 1812–17, and 1821–29. Campbell was treasurer of the United States, 1829–39 (Kneebone et al., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 2:572–74; Baltimore Sun, 5 Dec. 1866).

2William Henry Roane (1787–1845), the son of Spencer Roane, and grandson of Patrick Henry, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1815–17, and then as member of the state executive council. Roane was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1837 and served until 1841.

3Frances and Camilla Wright had accompanied Lafayette on part of his American tour, but they parted soon after their visit to Montpelier (JM to Frances Wright, 1 Sept. 1825, DLC). For a description of the complicated relationship between Frances Wright and Lafayette, see Norman K. Risjord, Representative Americans: The Romantics (Lantham, Md., 2001), 187–89.

4This was Lafayette’s private secretary, Auguste Levasseur.

Index Entries