James Madison Papers

Edward McDermott Roe to James Madison, 7 May 1831

Mobile Alabama, May the 7th 1831


I hope the cause and subject of this letter may excuse my intrusion on your retirement. It is written in the hope that you will not consider the subject or the writer unworthy of your admonishment where you believe it to be proper—In the spring of Eighteen Hundred and twenty five by the Providence of God, I by a personal act won an unrestricted freedom from the Roman. Catholic. Church. That church is commonly known to profess its own infalibility. It has in more than one instance, transfered the property and soverighnty, of one people to an other people—Considering the wholesome variety in the Constitutions of Men, of Climate, of soil and of Geographic locality, all of which do constitute an interesting whole, It was a vexacious and bitter Act—In the same spring of twenty five, To ascertain for myself how much might be hoped for from the Honorable H. Clay, I had a short conversation with him at Washington. City. In the course of it I endeavoured to impress him with the opinion that Commerce is the true interest of the United States—I found it necessary to oppose him and I have done so—As I believe the local Legislator may be, and certainly can be better aquainted with the natural interest of his location than with any other, I hold that the Power Created by any Union of States should be confined as far as possible to purposes, of defence external, and international duties—Consequently I am opposed to the spirit of Ceasar—Having read last fall in a news paper a remark of the Honorable Mr. Webster, That we weir in Ceasar Boat, I embraced an opportunity afforded to me on board of a Steamer on the Missisippi—to say that I did not belive Mr. Webster to be a profound Man, refering to his own remark as an evidence of it, at the same time I refered, to yourself as being a Jewel to theese States. Will you pardon me for having done so. I now see by the papers that the Honorable Mr. Webster has very markedly refered the public mind to you—may I hope that you will not be unwilling to admonish me—And improve the public with the aid of your experience I pray that your age may be as happy as your youth has been Glorious—Be pleased to receive the assurance of my unfeined Respect—

Edward. Mc.Dermott. Roe.


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