James Madison Papers

James Madison to Jared Sparks, 5 October 1830

Montpellier. Octr. 5. 1830

Dear Sir

Your letter of July 16. was duly recd. The acknowledgment of it has awaited your return from your tour to Quebec, which I presume has by this time taken place.

Inclosed is the exact copy you wish of the draft of an address prepared for President Washington at his request, in the year 1792, when he meditated a retirement at the expiration of his first term. You will observe that (with a few verbal exceptions) it differs from the "Extract" inclosed in your letter only in the provisional paragraphs, which had become inapplicable to the period & plan of his communication to Col: Hamilton.

The No. of the N. American Review for Jan 7. last, being I find a duplicate, I return it. The pages to which you refer, throw a valuable light on a transaction, which was taking historical root, in a shape unjust as well as erroneous. Did you ever notice the "Life of Mr. Jay," in Delaplaine’s Biographical work? The materials of it were evidently derived from the papers, if not the pen of Mr. Jay, and are marked by the misconceptions into which he had fallen. It may be incidentally noted as one of the confirmations of the fallibility of Mr. Hamilton’s memory in allotting the Nos. in the "Federalist", to the respective writers, that one of them No. 64, which appears by Delaplaine, to have been written by Mr. Jay, as it certainly was, is put on the list of Mr. Hamilton, as was not less certainly the case with a number of others written by another hand.

Previous to the receipt of your letter, I had recd. one from Mr. Monroe, to whom I had mentioned the liberty I had taken with Raynaval’s Memoir. I inclose the part of his letter, answering that part of mine.

Mrs. Madison offers you many thanks for the very interesting narrative, of which Ledyard is the subject. She has read it with great pleasure, and with a just sensibility to the additional value which the Volume has, as a token of the politeness & regard of the Author. With great esteem & cordial salutations

James Madison

RC (Sotheby’s Sale, 31 Oct. 1990); draft (DLC).

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