James Madison Papers

Charles Carter Lee to James Madison, 9 May 1831

New York May 9th 1831

My dear Sir,

I have been so fortunate as to obtain, to day, some letters & papers sent by my father from the West Indies, many years ago. The trunk which contained them, & all the letters, were opened before they fell into my hands; & I took the liberty of reading that which I now forward, as it was enclosed to my brother, unsealed. I despair of ever being able to find the wine it alludes to; but I assure you that I relinquish with great regret the hope of being instrumental in procuring for you any thing which might be conducive to your health. Yet I am sure you will be gratified to receive, as it were from the grave, thanks from an old friend, for benefits which it must give you pleasure to be reminded of. At least, I can conceive nothing so refreshing to the evening of life, as those long shadows of memory, which reach to acts of kindness, rewarded with gratitude; & I beg you to believe that much of the latter, which the grave extinguished, survives in me. Nor can I, my dear Sir, ever forget the very interesting day & a half I passed at your house a few summers since. To converse familiarly with any of the great founders of the Republic is an era in the life of one, who venerates them, & adores their work as I do. And it was scarcely a less interesting event to me to meet with Mrs Madison, & to enjoy that affability & be won with that graciousness, of which I had heard so much. Pray, present me to her with the most cordial respect, & believe me, with affectionate veneration, my dear Sir, Your most obedient, humble sert.

Charles Carter Lee.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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