James Madison Papers

James Madison to Ebenezer Bancroft Williston, 12 January 1826

Montpr. Jany. 12. 1826


Your letter of Decr. 30. has been duly recd. Whatever pleasure I might feel in aiding you in the object which it communicates, I know not that I should be justified, especially, from recollections after such a lapse of time, in pronouncing on the comparative merits of Congressional speeches, during the period to which you refer. The best I can do is to comply, as far as I can, with your other request, as to the sources which will enable you, to make the proper comparison & selections.

A Report of the Debates in Congress under the present Constitution, was commenced during their Sessions at N. York by Ths. Lloyd, and continued by him, after their removal to Phila. An early part was published in three Vols. under the title of the "Congressional Register; and the continuation, if not bound in Vols was printed in a form to be so. I should suppose you might find the whole, if not in the hands or in the famil<ies> of some of the then members of Congs. in some of the public Libraries accessible to you. As to the Debates, subsequent to Lloyd’s Reports, they may not perhaps be found elsewhere than in the contemporary Gazettes, files of which must be in preservation where the Sessions of Congs. were held, & not improbably in other places.

My own shelves & files are too deficient to be worth a resort. I do not possess copies of the Inaugural Addresses you particularly request, except as bound up in Waits State Papers, printed in ten Vols. at Boston in 1817: to which I must refer you, if you should have occasion. With friendly respects

Draft (DLC).

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