James Madison Papers

James Madison to Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge, 8 April 1830

Montpr. Apr. 8th. 1830

My dear Madam

Your acceptable favor of Mar. 20 came duly to hand, & with it, the anticipated review of the published correspondence of your Grandfather. The Author of the review has given evidence not only of a candid mind rescued from preconceived error, but of a critical judgment & an accomplished pen. The light which pierced the film over his eyes can not fail to produce a like revolution in other minds equally capable of comprehending the varied merits which give lustre to the volumes reviewed, and incapable of witholding the tribute due to them.

The Reviewer has, I observe, taken particular notice of a letter to me, which presents a view, at once original & profound, of the relations between one generation & another. It must be admitted as he remarks that there would be difficulties in reducing it fully to practice. But it affords a practical lesson well according with the policy of free nations. Having lately found among other fugitive scraps one in which the subject was so contemplated I venture to inclose a copy of it. It was printed many years ago, as its date shews, but I am not able to furnish any other than a manuscript copy.

Mrs. Madison, whose affection for you cannot change bids me say that she will only permit this small expression of it— through me. For myself, my dear madam, I pray you to be assured that her feelings are equally mine, and that they will always be enlivened by your relation to a friend whose memory can never cease to be dear to me. We unite in offering our best respects to Mr. Coolidge, and in every wish for the happiness of you both.

J. M.

Draft (DLC).

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