James Madison Papers

James Madison to Nicholas P. Trist, 25 November 1826

Montpellier Novr. 25. 1826

Dear Sir

Your letter & commununications of the 18th. having remained a day or two at our post office, I have been obliged to give in some haste, the final extent & shape to the Report for the Legislature; and after all to leave a couple of blanks which I must ask the favour of you to fill; and then forward the Report directly to Richmond. In filling the blanks, the guide will be the paper of the Come. appointed to examine the State of the funds, and the paper of Mr. Johnson or Mr. Breckenridge or both, calculating the period for extinguishing the balance of debt at the end of next year. This I am pretty confident, was between six & seven years. The terms "about" or "not less than" or any equivalent conjectural expression, will suit both the blanks. I wish you to examine critically the whole Report; and if there be any error of any sort that can be corrected, without too much defacing it, to correct it freely; and if there be any requiring a redraught, be so good as to hasten it back in the proper form for my signature, so that it may go from the post office here to Richmond. There is no occasion I find to send the Report of the Collector with the other Documents. I have not heard from Mr. Cabell which I regret I had a few lines from Genl. Cocke after you saw him. It is fortunate that your opinion proves to be right as to a "Precedent" for "Jurisdiction" in the University. It will have much effect in quieting scruples, if a satisfactory plan can be digested, you are right in supposing that the Memorial on that subject was to be prepared by Mr Johnson.

I cannot well express my concern at the failure of Mr. J. Randolph. I had expected that the Printers would eagerly have met his views. Their backwardness may turn out to be an advantage, if too great immediate sacrifices can be avoided, and an opportunity can be given for diffusive subscriptions under every influence that will be felt, which I continue to think would be very productive.

We had recd. exaggerated accounts of Mrs. Randolph’s indisposition, which made the information from Mr. Coolidge peculiarly gratifying. With our thanks for all the kind remembrances your letter conveys, we offer a return of ours, for which we should have been happy in substituting the cordial welcome here which awaited the promised visits. Health and all other blessings

James Madison

RC (DLC: Nicholas P. Trist Papers); draft (DLC).

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