James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elias Vanderhorst, 30 April 1808

April 30th. 1808.


Above is a Copy of my last respects to you of the 19th. Ulto. pr ⟨the⟩ Ship Atlas, Capt. Moran to New York, since which period, ⟨I⟩ have not been honored with any of your favors.

The weather here continues uncommonly cold for the Season, ⟨an⟩d Vegetation has of course been much impeded in its progress hi⟨the⟩rto, ‘though in other respects the fields do not wear an un⟨pr⟩omising appearance at present, particularly those of Wheat.

The aspect of Public affairs, I am truly sorry to say, do ⟨no⟩t seem to improve, and I am therefore still strongly of opinion ⟨tha⟩t nothing short of a serious scarcity of Grain or a distressing Stag⟨na⟩tion of our Manufacturies and Commerce, will prevent the evil ⟨of⟩ War Spreading still wider. I am therefore afraid, that it is to the casual occurrence of such circumstance only, that we are now to look for the return of Peace, however desirable, (as it certainly ⟨is)⟩ to a great majority of the People at large, but these unfortunat⟨ely⟩ have not the means of effecting what they so much wish, as that, unhappily for mankind, lays with others, to whose Pecuniary wants & concrns, War administers so profusely and to Support which therefore, no endeavors will be left untried to open new Markets for sending our articles of Export, as well as to encourage every intercourse possible for obtaining from abroad those commodities which are wanted by the Nation, espicially in her Manufacturies, in order, to Prevent those clamors which may otherwise interrupt the Prosecution of an object or business so lucrative to its powerful & numerous advocates, however Lamentable such traffick may appear to be, when viewed in its proper ligh⟨t⟩ or weighed in the scale of reason, Justice & humanity. This is a painful subject: I will therefore drop it, and now on⟨ly⟩ beg leave to refer you to the contents of the Enclosed News-Papers for particulars, of what is passing at Present in thi⟨s⟩ quarter of the world of a Public nature; still hoping, that a calamity so great as that which a War between this Country and America would produce to each, may be yet avoided. I have the Honor to remain, very truly, Sir, Your most Obedt. Servt.

Elias VanderHorst

P S. I have taken the liberty of enclosing a Letter to my Son, which I must beg you will be so obliging as to have forwarded to hi⟨m⟩ by the first Mail for Charleston after it reaches you, excusing ⟨the⟩ freedom I have used in making this request.

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Bristol.

Index Entries