James Madison Papers

James Madison to William Buell Sprague, 11 August 1828

Montpellier Augst. 11. 1828.

Dear Sir

I received your letter of July 5. when absent from my papers; and since I had opportunities of looking into them, other circumstances have thus long delayed an answer. I now enclose a few autograph specimens, which are within the scope of your request; not doubting that you will be able to obtain most of the others I could furnish, from other & perhaps more convenient sources.

It may be not amiss to remark, that the dates of the letters & Extracts, will suggest the time of life at which they were written: Age often produces as great, and sometimes greater change in the handwriting, than in the features of the countenance. Another cause of diversity, is in the greater or less haste with which the writing happens to be executed.

I thank you, Sir, for the pamphlets accompanying your letter. The Discourse on Intemperance, the only one which I have yet been able to peruse, claims from all, the deepest attention, as well from the extent of the evil which it pourtrays, as from the force of the monitory & persuasive appeals, which the subject inspired Be please to accept, Sir, my friendly respects

James Madison

RC (OClWHi); FC (NjP: Crane Collection); FC (DLC). First FC includes an asterisk after "specimens" corresponding to the following list: "* of General Washington / Mr. Jefferson / Mr. Monroe / Docr. Rush / Richard Henry Lee / Benjamin Harrison.

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