Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THOMAS RITCHIE. mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
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TO THOMAS RITCHIE. mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 9.
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TO THOMAS RITCHIE.mad. mss.
Aug. 13, 1822.
Your favor of Aug 7 is so full & satisfactory an answer to my request of July 2, that I ought not to withhold my thanks for it. The delay was immaterial. But I lament most sincerely the afflicting causes of it.
With much esteem & friendly respects.
The Enquirer of the 6th, very properly animadverts on the attempts to pervert the historical circumstances relating to the Draught of the Declaration of Independence.1 The fact that Mr. Jefferson was the author and the nature of the alterations made in the Original, are too well known and the proofs are too well preserved, to admit of successful misrepresentation.
In one important particular, the truth, tho’ on record, seems to have escaped attention; and justice to be so far left undone to Virga. It was in obedience to her positive instruction, to her Delegates in Congs. that the motion for Independence was made. The instruction passed unanimously in her Convention on the 15 of May, 17762 and the Mover was of course, the Mouth only of the Delegation, as the Delegation was of the Convention. Had P. Randolph the first named not been cut off by Death, the motion wd. have been made by him. The duty, in consequence of that event devolved on the next in order R. H. Lee, who had political merits of a sort very different from that circumstantial distinction.
[1 ]The attempt to give credit to Richard Henry Lee for part authorship of the Declaration of Independence appeared in the Philadelphia Union and Federal Republican, reprinted in the Charleston Patriot, and all copied in the Richmond Enquirer, August 6, 1822.
[2 ]See the Journal of that date (Madison’s Note).