Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Madison writes to Jefferson

    James Madison Autograph Letter Signed to Thomas Jefferson. One page, 7.5" x 9", Montpellier [Virginia]; May 7, 1822. Madison writes to his fellow Virginian, former president Thomas Jefferson, enclosing a letter (not present) from Richard Rush: "I fulfill the request of Mr. Rush by enclosing the letter in which it is made; and the rather as the letter is of pretty late date and touches on the affairs of Europe. I have heard of your intended visit to Bedford, but count on this reaching Monticello before you leave it. Always affect. yours / James Madison."

    Jefferson has docketed the letter on verso: "Madison James. Montpellier May.7t / recd May. 9."

    In a March 6, 1822 letter sent from London to Madison, Rush discusses the U.S. Census of 1820 and comments on the strained relations between Turkey and Russia and England's hope that both countries will be kept in check. He also conveyed the English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham's criticism of Alexander I of Russia. He closed his letter with a postscript in which he asked Madison to convey his respectful remembrances to Jefferson.

    Jefferson replied to Madison's May 7 letter on May 12, thanking him for forwarding Rush's letter and commented on Rush's remarks concerning Jeremy Bentham's views of Alexander I of Russia: "Mr. Bentham's character of Alexander is I believe just and that worse traits might still be added to it equally just. He is now certainly become the watchman of tyranny for Europe, as dear to its oppressors as detestable to the oppressed." Jefferson ended his letter by referring to Madison's mention of Jefferson's planned visit to Bedford, Virginia, stating that he would be leaving for that place on the next day. Bedford County, Virginia, was the location of Jefferson's private retreat, Poplar Forest.

    An interesting letter from one close friend, Founder and former president to another that shows that despite Madison's long association with his fellow Virginian, he still addressed him in a formal manner. Ex. R. Douglas Stuart.

    Condition: Gently toned, with bold ink. Left margin is uneven from removal of integral page. Small clean tear at top traverses Jefferson's docket.

    More Information:

    Richard Rush (1780-1859), born in Philadelphia, was the son of the prominent Philadelphia physician and Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush. Unlike his father, Rush pursued a legal career, and became involved in politics and diplomacy. After serving Pennsylvania as Attorney General in 1811, he was appointed Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury, and became one of Madison's most trusted advisors during the War of 1812. In 1814, Madison appointed Rush Attorney General, a post he held for a time under President James Monroe. He also served briefly as secretary of state, during which time he signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which limited naval armaments on the Great Lakes. Rush later served as minister to Great Britain and was John Quincy Adams's running mate in the presidential election of 1828. During the presidency of James K. Polk, Rush served as minister to France.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,661

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 April 17 Featuring the Michael Ward Collection Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search