James Madison Papers

Samuel A. Storrow to James Madison, 6 July 1828

Farley July 6th ’28

My dear Sir 

I have recently been visited by a sister & brother in law. They are residents of Boston and journeyed thus far to see my Wife & the little progeny that is clustering around us. They had scarcely reached our dwelling when I was siezed by a malady that kept me prisoner to my room for nearly the whole of their stay. It was the intention of my brother to have presented his personal respects to you & it was frustrated only by my indisposition which prevented me from accompanying him. This consequence of my illness was among the most unacceptable parts of it. The visit would have been to him a source of lasting gratification & in him you would have found a man of no common merit. His name is Higginson—the son of a Gentleman who served with you in the Congress of the Revolution. The mention made by him of his father is the immediate cause of my addressing you. The character of the elder Higginson is not unknown to you. Few men in his parts commanded more respect or exercised a wider influence. He brought to politics zeal, intelligence & knowledge, but threw them all into the scale against you & your cause. Throughout your long & glorious devotion to public duties you recieved from no one a more determined opposition than from him. His life is now drawing near to its close. On being informed that his son meditated a journey to Virginia he requested that he would see you, & be the bearer of compliments couched in terms of peculiar respect. He referred to your early acquaintance, to the important events of the intervening period, and checked himself with the words—"but it is impossible"—as he expressed a wish once again to see you.

This recurrence to primitive feelings & the high credit it reflects on him who expressed it, interesting as they are, create reflections beyond themselves. There must be something peculiar in the object, where the first & last feelings are those of respect & admiration. It is a text from which, in delicacy to yourself, I derive no commentary. It is not often that party rancour dies before its victim or that the saint is canonized while he is yet on earth.

To yourself & Mrs Madison I present the respectful salutations of Mr & Mrs Carter and of my Wife. I would add the same from our children were they old enough to partake of the feelings of their Parents Your Obedient Servant

S A Storrow

RC (DLC). Docketed by James Madison.

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