James Madison Papers

Jared Sparks to James Madison, 27 February 1828

Washington, Feby. 27th 1828.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 7th of January came safely to hand. I trust you have before this time received the packet of letters sent by Col. Storrow. Had any accident befallen them I think he would have informed me. It is probable he has waited for a safe conveyance. I have written him on the subject.

As all Genl. Washington’s papers are put up in chests, and deposited in the safety vault of an insurance office, it will hardly be in my power to procure the copies you desire till I return from Europe. They shall then be immediately forwarded to you.

I met with no success in applying through a friend to Mr Claypoole. He declined giving a copy of the Farewell Address. I intend to call on him myself, & hope with a more favorable result.

I beg you will accept my thanks for your hints, respecting the opinion of the early actors in the cause of Independence. They will be of use to me hereafter.

My voyage has been delayed a few weeks longer than I expected. I shall probably sail from New York as soon as the first of April. A bill has been reported to Congress by the committee of ways & means, appropriating a certain sum of money for procuring copies of the papers in England, which pertain to our colonial history. The legislature of Georgia applied to Congress, through the representatives of that state, to procure at the expense of government the papers relating to the history of Georgia. The matter was referred to the committee of ways & means. The opinion of the committee was, that Congress had no power to render such a favor to a particular state, but, considering the subject an important one, they concluded to report an appropriation, to be employed in bearing the charge of a general examination of the papers, and of copying immediately such as are most wanted. The bill has not yet been called up, but its friends feel no doubt, that it will pass. This will be an initiatory step towards procuring copies of all the papers from England, which are necessary for writing a history of this Country. With unfeigned respect & esteem

Jared Sparks

RC (DLC); letterbook copy (MH). RC docketed by James Madison.

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