James Madison Papers

Tench Ringgold to James Madison, 7 July 1831

New York July 7th. 1831

My Dear Sir

I gave you, on the 4th instant, a short account of the death of your old and valued friend Mr Monroe; and now perform the promise, then made, to write to you again before I left this City.

I have been his constant attendant & nurse, since the first of May, with the exception of one week; during all May & part of June, he had chills & fever every day, they were however subdued early in June, but the disturbing cough, by which he has been tormented for many years, and which was the cause of his death was too obstinate & deeply seated on his lungs to be removed by human skill. On Friday the 1st of July it became evident that speedy dissolution was at hand, and he died (as I have informed you) at 1/2 past three O clock on Monday without a struggle and resigned to his fate in the most perfect possession of his mental faculties.

During his illness he often mentioned you to me; and expressed not only his most affectionate regard, respect, and esteem for you, which it gave him pleasure to say had never for forty years been for one moment interrupted, but his great regret that he should leave this world without having the happiness of once more beholding you, his oldest and most valued friend. Of Mrs. Madison he likewise often spoke with affectionate respect and esteem.

For many weeks before his death, he was convinced it was impossible for him to recover, & he repeatedly exprest the most ardent wish to die; when the event approached he met it, calm and resigned. I have the honor to be Dear Sir with profound respect & esteem your sincere friend & obt sert

Tench Ringgold

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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