James Madison Papers

James Madison to George Watterston, 8 March 1824

Montpr. Mar. 8. 1824

Dear Sir

Your letter enclosing the Document appointing me an honorary member of the Horticultural Society established in the District of Columbia, was duly received, and I regret that it has not been sooner acknowledged. But such has been the depressed State of my health, to which has latterly been added a new inroad on it, that I have been obliged in this, as in other cases, to intermit the attention due to correspondents. Even now I take up my pen, under the pressure of much indisposition; wishing the Society to be no longer unapprized of my sensibility to the honour conferred on me.

Horticulture is a valuable and interesting Section of Agriculture, the main resource of human subsistence. Apart from the ornamental, the scientific, and experimental uses, which it may embrace, it affords a cheap & wholsome, substitute for the disproportionate consumption of animal food, which has long been a habit of our Country, resulting from the exuberant supply it has enjoyed of this article. In promoting a reform of this habit, horticultural Societies can not fail of a happy tendency, and I wish for the Columbian example, a full share of the merit.

Praying that the sincere acknowledgments to the Society may be duly communicated, I offer to youself, at the same time, my cordial respects & good wishes


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