James Madison Papers

James Madison to James Bradford, 3 October 1831

Montpr. Ocr. 3. 1831

Dr. Sir

I have recd your letter of the 26th. ult and am sorry I am so little able to answer it with the precision required for its object.

My personal knowledge of your father was too remote for any availing recollections. I have certainly none injurious to his memory.

Of the transactions in which he was involved in 1794, the lapse of time would also account for a very defective recollection. I may add that altho’ a portion of my public life was cotemporary with those transactions, I was not in the Dept. of Govt. having the best opportunity of knowing the circumstances and appreciating the views, by which the conduct of individuals was to be judged. My information was derived from sources, which being chiefly official, must still be accessible to all.

But however incompetent a witness I may be of the career of your father, or whatever the degree of his aberration, or the grounds of his vindication justice forbids that his faults or misfortunes shd. be visited on the son and that to this immunity of the son, mu<ay> be added a career of his own favorable to <a> prosperous & happy life. I beg that my best wishes may be accepted.

J. M

Draft (DLC).

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