Description

    James Madison Retained Autograph Draft of a Letter as President to William Miller, Governor of North Carolina. One page, 7.75" x 9.75"; Washington, January 4, 1816. Madison pens a response to having received a vote of thanks from the North Carolina legislature at the close of the War of 1812. In part: " I have rec'd your communication of the 28th. ult. and I can not be insensible to the approbation [expres]sed of my conduct during a momentous period by the Legislature of a state which bore with distinguished patriotism its share of the trials which were encountered. In recommending the appeal to arms, the reluctant duty was prescribed by the honor and sanctioned by the voice of the nation; and in concurring in a peace which provided for its interest and elevated its character, I consulted not less the obligations of my public trust, than the principles which I have ever cherished. The arduous contest with the augmentation of its pressures, from fortuitous events, through which our country has successfully passed, may now be reviewed with instruction as well as with congratulations, and the review will never fail to encourage a confidence in the energies of a free people, and in the blessing of Heaven on a just cause..."

    When Madison assumed office in 1809 he inherited critical challenges with France and Britain that had incubated during the Jefferson administration. The 1807 Embargo Act and 1809 Non-Intercourse Act were most damaging to the North, and the public support voiced by North Carolina's General Assembly at that time was especially important.

    With the successful ending of the ensuing War of 1812, North Carolina again publicly voiced their support of President Madison with a legislative vote of thanks in 1815; and the letter offered here is Madison's response of gratitude. A final version of this letter was published in the Niles' Weekly Register edition of Saturday, December 16, 1816.

    The letter offered here is an early draft with numerous emendations. Originally unsigned, a clipped signature, "James Madison" has been affixed at the closing. From the Estate of Malcolm S. Forbes.

    Condition: The letter is very fragile, and has been affixed to a sheet of paper along the vertical edges. There is a complete jagged separation running through the center, as well as at several horizontal folds. Tape stains from earlier repairs, soiling and some dampstaining. Chips of paper loss affect a few words. This historic letter is certainly worthy of restoration.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
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