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    Description

    A fine James Madison Autograph Letter Signed. Written at Richmond, VA. Jan. 8, 1830. 7.50" x 9.50", very fine but for old paper tape strip along one edge on verso easily removed. To an unidentified recipient, and signed "With cordial salutations James Madison." The first part of the letter addresses a constitutional issue concerning the exercise of Executive Power, while the second discusses specific issues before the Virginia State Convention then in progress to revise the existing state constitution. We reproduce the entire text below. Note the statement "...the radical caused of our difficulties has the colored population… "Dear Sir Yours of Dec. 26 was duly rec.d and I should have yielded less to the causes of your delay, had my recollections furnished any particular information on the subject of it; and my present situation does not permit the measures which might aid them. It would seem that the exercise of Executive power in the cases referred to, without the intervention of the Judiciary was regarded as warranted by the L. of N. as part of the Local Law; and that the State Executives became the federal instruments by virtue of their authority over the Militia. If the term 'instructed' was used in the call on them, it is one that would not be relished now by some of them at least. Will not the debate on Robbins's case particularly the Speech of the present Ch. Justice, disclose the probable grounds on which the Federal Executives proceeded. I have not the means of consulting that source of information; but am under the impression that the cases hinged on analogous principles. Our Convention is now in the pangs of parturition. Whether the result will be an abortion or an offspring worthy of life will shortly be determined. The radical cause of our difficulties has been the coloured population which happens to lie in our geographical half of the States and to have been the great object of taxation. Comprising efforts, required by this peculiarity, have checked the projects and votes, in a very curious, and to strangers unintellible manner. The main object wit many has been to produce modification having the best chance of getting through the Convention and of not being rejected by the people: and at the same time be better than existing constitution which has real as well as unpopular deformation, that would not long be borne without very exciting attempts for a plenipotentiary revision of theirs. With cordial salutations James Madison." This fine letter is still in the folder in which it was purchased from legendary autograph dealer King Hostick in 1956, and a pencil notation confirms it then fetched the princely sum of $75.00. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 937

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