Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO HENRY LEE. mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
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TO HENRY LEE. 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 HENRY LEE.mad. mss.
Montpr., March 3, 1834.
Your letter of Novr. 14 came safely tho’ tardily to hand.
I must confess that I perceive no ground on which a doubt could be applied to the statement of Mr. Jefferson which you cite. Nor can it I think be difficult to account for my declining an Executive appointment under Washington and accepting it under Jefferson, without making it a test of my comparative attachment to them, and without looking beyond the posture of things at the two epochs.
The part I had borne, in the origin and adoption of the Constitution, determined me at the outset of the Govt. to prefer a seat in the House of Representatives; as least exposing me to the imputation of selfish views; and where, if anywhere I could be of service in sustaining the Constitution agst. the party adverse to it. It was known to my friends wen making me a candidate for the Senate, that my choice was the other branch of the Legislature. Having commenced my Legislative career as I did, I thought it most becoming to proceed under the original impulse to the end of it; and the rather as the Constn. in its progress, was encountering trials, of a new sort in the formation of new Parties attaching adverse constructions to it.
The Crisis at which I accepted the Executive appointment under Mr. Jefferson is well known. My connexion with it, and the part I had borne in promoting his election to the Chief Magistracy, will explain my yielding to his pressing desire that I should be a member of his Cabinet.
I hope you received the copies of your father’s letters to me, which were duly forwarded; and I am not without a hope that you will have been enabled to comply with my request of Copies of mine to him.
With friendly salutations.