James Madison Papers

James Monroe to James Madison, 11 April 1831

New York April. 11. 1831

Dear Sir

I have intended for some time, to write and explain to you, the arrangment I have made for my future residence, and respecting my private affairs, with a view to my comfort, so far as I may expect it, but it has been painful to me to [ ] it. My ill state of health continuing, consisting of a cough which annoys me by night & day with considerable expectoration, considering my advanc’d years, altho my lungs are not affected, renders the restoration of my health very uncertain, or indeed any favorable change in it. In such a state I could not reside on my farm. The solitude would be very distressing, & its cares very burdensome: It is the wish of both my daughters & [t]he whole connection, that I should remain here, and receive their good offices, which I have decided to do I do not wish to burden them. It is my intention to rent a house, near Mr. Gouverneur, & to live within my own resources, so far as I may be able. I could make no establishment of any kind, witht. the sa[le] of my property in Loudon, Which I have advertised for the 8th of June, & given the necessary power to Mr Gouverneur & my nephew James If my health will permit, I will visit it in the interim, to arrange affairs there, for that event, and my removal here. The accounting officers have made no decision on my claims, & have given me much trouble. I have writt[en] them that I would make out no acct, [ ] to the act, which fell far short of making me a just reparation, and that I had rather lose the whole sum, than give to it any sanction, be the consequences what they may. I never recovered from the losses of the first mission, to which those of the second, added considerably.

It is very distressing to me to sell my property in Loudon, for besides parting with all I have in the state, I indulged a hope, if I could retain it, that I might be able occasionally to visit it, and meet my friends, or many of them there. But ill health, & advanc’d years, prescribe a course which we must pursue. I deeply regret that there is no prospect of our ever meeting again, since so long have we been connected, & in the most friendly intercourse, in publick & private life, that a final separation is among the most distressing incidents that wd. occur. I shall resign my seat, as a visitor of the Board, in due time, to enable the Executive to fill the vacancy, that my successor may attend the next meeting. I beg you to assure Mrs. Madison, that I never can forget, [t]he friendly relation which has existed between her & my family: It often reminds me of incidents of the most interesting character. My daughter Mrs Hay will live with me, who with the whole family here, unite in affectionate regards to both of you. Very sincerely your friend

James Monroe

RC (ViFreJM).

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