James Madison Papers

James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell, 5 October 1828

Octr 5. 1828.

Dear Sir

I have duly recd. your letter of Sepr. 27. The object of mine of Sepr. 18 was to suggest the topics & references which had occurred to me as supporting a constitutional doctrine in wch. we agreed, and in which I know you to feel a particular interest. If as you suppose a publication of the views taken in the letter, of the Tariff power in Congress, might have a useful tendency, the present can not I think be the moment for making the experiment. Every political subject brought before the public however detached in its purpose is now mingled with the all absorbing one of the Presidential contest, and judged according to the bearing ascribed to it by the imaginations or suspicions of heated partizans. To obtain a fair hearing for the power in question, it must be best to wait at least, till the public mind shall be left, by the approaching termination of that contest in a more cool & tranquil State. Arguments & evidences, which after that event might be heard with patience, and even candor by those appealed to, would in their existing excitement be received with a prejudice, and with perhaps hasty commitments very unfavorable to the result wished for.

I felt much regret at not being able to join my Colleagues on the 1st. inst: My health was in too feeble a State for such a trial of it. It begins now to be decidedly improving

Draft (DLC).

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