Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO WILLIAM COGSWELL mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO WILLIAM COGSWELL 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO WILLIAM COGSWELLmad. mss.
Montpellier, March 10, 1834.
Your letter of the 18th Ult. was duly received. You give me a credit to which I have no claim, in calling me “the writer of the Constitution of the U. S.” This was not, like the fabled Goddess of Wisdom, the offspring of a single brain. It ought to be regarded as the work of many heads & many hands.
Your criticism on the Collocation of books in the Library of our University, may not be without foundation. But the doubtful boundary between some subjects, and the mixture of different subjects in the same works, necessarily embarrass the task of classification.
Being now within a few days of my 84th year, with a decaying health & faded vision, and in arrears also of the reading I have assigned to myself, I have not been able sooner to acknowledge your politeness in sending me the two pamphlets. The sermon combats very ably the veteran error of entwining with the Civil an Ecclesiastical polity. Whether it has not left unremoved a fragment of the argumentative root of the combination is a question which I leave others to decide.
With friendly respects & salutations