James Madison Papers

Nicholas P. Trist to James Madison, 3 July 1832

Washington, July 3. ’32

Dear Sir,

It is more than four weeks since I received your last; and I then thought that but a day or two would pass before I answered it. But I have repeatedly in the last two months been laid on my back for three, four, or five days at a time, by a succession of boils which kept me in great pain, and made it impossible to move without a great encrease. The consequence is, that I have been overwhelmed with business (this being my most busy period) and with other things which I had engaged in & which could not be postponed.

Your views struck me as important, and I used an opportunity which presented itself the evening they were received, to put them into the hands of Mr Archer, who is among the good spirits, and who, I knew, was exerting himself to keep down the storm. I have thought also, of sending a copy to the Enquirer; but not sufficiently to decide on the expediency in the present state of things. Your injunction was not necessary, as I consider it a standing one.

Have you ever tried the decotion of red pepper in brandy, for your rheumatism? Genl. Ashley of Missouri, whose frame & habit of body seem very analogous to yours, tells me, that he has been in a state from which he supposed he would never recover: His joints swelled and stiffened &c; and that this application has always relieved him. The brandy is boiled for an hour or two, with the red pepper in it; and the parts gently rubbed with the liquid. It sometimes becomes too painful, and is then to be washed off with lukewarm water. I write au grand gallop; and must close with affectionate adieux

N. P. Trist

RC: (ViHi: Nicholas P. Trist Album Book).

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