James Madison Papers

Jared Sparks to James Madison, 24 May 1831

Boston, May 24th. 1831

Dear Sir,

I am under many obligations to you for your full and satisfactory letter, respecting the part taken by Gouverneur Morris in the Convention. The information is valuable, & not to be obtained in any other Quarter.

I should not trouble you at present, were it not for a hint contained in the postscript to your letter, respecting a pamphlet by Mr Morris on the threatened repeal of the law of Pennsylvania, which had been passed as necessary to support the Bank of N. America. I can find no copy of this pamphlet, and if you will send me yours it will be a special favor.

Mr Morris wrote many things in the newspapers during revolutionary times, but fragments of these only remain among his papers. Will you have the goodness to indicate to me whatever articles or pamphlets of his writing at that period are now in your memory? Did he write a pamphlet about Deane?

In touching on the Convention, I shall state the matter relating to Mr. Pinckney’s Draft, as I have heard it from you, and from Mr Adams as reported to him by Mr King. Justice and truth seem to me to require this exposition. I shall write to Charleston, and endeavor to have the Draft inspected, which was left by Mr. Pinckney. Your explanation, that he probably added particulars as they arose in debate, and at last forgot what was original and what superadded, is the only plausible way of accounting for the mystery, and it may pass for what it is worth. Should any thing occur to you, which you may think proper to communicate to me on the subject, I shall be well pleased to receive it.

Pray can you inform me whether any others of the signers of the Constitution are now living except yourself? With profound respect & best regards, I am, Sir, your much obliged, & most obt. sert.

Jared Sparks

P. S.—I proposed to Jas. A. Hamilton to publish all the papers relating to the Farewell Address. He deliberates & is doubtful. You know, perhaps, that Hamilton’s papers are in the hands of Mr Baylies of Masstts., who is now preparing a Memoir.

J. S.

RC (DLC); letterbook copy (MH). RC docketed by JM.

Index Entries