James Madison Papers

Edward Everett to James Madison, 23 December 1831

Washington 23d. Decr. 1831.

Dear Sir,

I have this day Your favor of the 21st, accompanied with a copy of a letter of the 14th Nov. The latter, I am concerned to say, never reached me. Deeply regretting its loss, I am nevertheless gratified to find, that it had occurred to You, that my neglect to answer it, was not intentional. I return You, with many thanks, the pamphlet You were good enough to send me.

I feel very much gratified, with the favorable notice You take of my New york Address. I am persuaded that the historical agreement is one of the most convincing, to the general mind. It is unfortunately one, which is weakened by distance in time from the period from which the data are to be collected. Much of contemporaneous notoriety is forever lost to those, who come upon the Stage in a succeeding generation. I suppose there must be in existence many documents, from the period between 1783 & 1787, which would Strengthen the course of argument in my Address. One or two such have come to my Knowledge, since I prepared it, which I did in too great haste for research. I intended to have made another trial of your good Nature, by asking of You Some references; but hearing of your indisposition, I felt it improper to trouble You. We are threatened with another discussion of the whole Subject this winter; and if the full enjoyment of Your health should enable You, before it comes on, to point out to me, however briefly, some useful topics of argument, of the kind, which Your intimate Connection with the formation of the Constitution must furnish You, I will endeavor to make a discreet use of them. With my most fervent wishes for Your improved health, I remain, Dear Sir, faithfully & gratefully Yours,

E. Everett

May I trouble You with the enquiry how much dependence can be placed on the accuracy of Lloyd’s Reports?

Draft (MHi).

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