James Madison Papers

William P. Duval to James Madison, 11 February 1827

Tallahassee Feby 11th 1827

Dear sir

By the last mail I received your favour of the 11th. ultimo—you have heard no doubt of the duel which took place between Coln. Macon and a son of judge Smiths. last November, The continual persecution and base attempts which have been made to distroy Coln. Macons reputation, have intirely failed and he now ocupies high ground through out the Territory—I gives me pain however to state that I fear his sensibility of feeling has tempted him to seek consolation, in the only way that carries, us to cirtain distruction, Coln. Macon has during the past winter indulged too freely at the festive board, and altho’ no habit of intemperance is confirmed, to me it is obvious it will end as such, if he remains in South. I never have in any part of the union seen so much dissipation as in the South—I would advise that his friends recal him to Virginia, at least for a time his decided attachment to you and Philip Barbour Esq—would at once induce him to addopt your advice Coln. Macon speaks in positive terms of residing at Mobile—This city will be his grave in 12 months—it is the most sickly place in the union—at Present Coln. Macon is in East Florida and he is expected here in a few weeks I hope you will excuse me for writing frankly on this subject. The deep interest and ardent desire I feel in the success and happiness of Coln. Macon, could only tempt me to address you on a subject so delicate, I am sure if he was apprised of the liberty I have taken with him, he would perhaps highly resent it, but I can not consent to be silent when the happiness of his family, his success and character, may be all distroyed,

Coln. Macon would have been elected the President of the Legislative council but he declined serving—during the session he was with me at my own house every day—and as far I could venture to advise him did so, with affection and interest. I am sincerely yours with esteem & veneration

Wm. P. Duval

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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