James Madison Papers

Edward Livingston to James Madison, 23 July 1832

July 23d 1832

My dear Friend


Your letter of yesterday has given me some hints of which I shall immediately avail myself in instructions to Mr. Van Ness. If the government of Spain were actuated by the principles that guide other powers the circumstances in which we stand with respect to her might be turned to a favorable account, and perhaps in spite of her prejudices and procrastinating Spirit something may yet be made of them.

Upon a close investigation which I have not had the materials to make before this I find our claims on that government to be greatly overrated and the reduction this will enable me to make in the Sum demanded on that Score may also have its effect in procuring permanent Commercial advantages.

I need not assure you my good friend how highly I value, the information and advice you have given & I hope will continue to give me, as well as the continuance of a friendship which has for so long a period been uninterrupted—

You charge me however unjustly with inattention to public expenditures I am the greatest miser that ever calculated a percentage, and never ask for the appropriation of a Dollar in our diplomatic intercourse that I am not convinced will produce an interest of ten thousand per Cent

As to my own Minor Concerns, I may perhaps plead guilty—I am my dear Sir Yours truly

Edw Livingston

RC (NHi).

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