James Madison Papers

Samuel Martin to James Madison, 26 February 1829

Campbellstation T. 26 Feby 1829

I received yours of the 30 Jany, in answer to mine of the 12th for which Sir please accept my best thanks for it conferred a very particular favour the matter about the P. office as you Say requires hesitation before it would be prudent to enter on such an expensive experiment this Sir is very true in all things there will be wrong done but to guard as much as possible against wrong is all that Can be done my opinion is it will be a much safer & more usefull distribution of the revenue than to divide it amongst the States what at this time a great many are advocating Some think postage on newspapers a very trifling matter I find people feel it much more than paying for the newspaper So persuaded are the that the ought to come free in my opinion the ought in every State where printed & as it now is every printer receive them free no matter where from and it ought no doubt be a matter come at by degrees as the national debt is paid at that period should peace Continue all ought to pass free it is a new matter & will require time and much discussion to bring the matter properly before the people the matter of a division of revenue amongst the States I think a very dangerous experiment much more so then the other this nation as the debt is paid off will be placed in a new Situation protecting duties must be levied & then the [Scuffle] will be by the States for that revenue now if anything would please all parties more than that all should pass free in the mail I am at a loss to know in ten or 15 years it will Cost 3 Million at least to support the mail establishment your State if a Convention is held will probably allow a general Sufferage now the people to make this usefull to them ought to be informed and I know of no means so likely to effect this as that all should Communicate freely by the mail free of expence Mr. Madison would confer a very particular favour by thinking of this matter and again giving me in exchange the Opinion he may form of it

Martin Saml.

Incomplete RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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