Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MANN BUTLER. mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
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TO MANN BUTLER. 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 MANN BUTLER.mad. mss.
Oct. 11, 1834.
I have recd your letter of the 21 ult. in which you wish to obtain my recollection of what passed between Mr. John Brown and me on the overtures of Gardoqui “that if the people of Kentucky would erect themselves into an independent State, and appoint a proper person to negotiate with him, he had authority for that purpose and would enter into an arrangement with them for the exportation of their produce to New Orleans.”
My recollection, with which, references in my manuscript papers accord, leaves no doubt that the overture was communicated to me by Mr. Brown. Nor can I doubt, that, as stated by him, I expressed the opinion and apprehension, that a knowledge of it in Kentucky might in the excitements there, be mischievously employed. This view of the subject evidently resulted from the natural and known impatience of the W people on the waters of the Mississippi for a market for the products of their exuberant soil; from the distrust of the Federal policy produced by the project of surrendering the use of that river for a term of many years; and from a coincidence of the overture, in point of time, with the plan on foot, for consolidating the Union by arming it with new powers, an object, to embarrass & defeat which the dismembering aims of Spain would not fail to make the most tempting sacrifices, and to spare no intrigues.1
I owe it to Mr. Brown, with whom I was in intimate friendship, when we were associates in public life, to observe that I always regarded him whilst steadily attentive to the interests of his constituents, as duly impressed with the importance of the Union and anxious for its prosperity.
Of the other particular enquiries in your letter my great age now in its 84th year, and with more than the usual infirmities, will I hope absolve me from undertaking to speak, without more authoritative aids to my memory than I can avail myself of. In what relates to Genl. Wilkinson, official investigations in the archives of the War Department, and the files of Mr Jefferson, must of course be among the important sources of light you wish for.
It would afford me pleasure to aid the interesting work which occupies your pen by materials worthy of it. But I know not that I could point to any which are not in print or in public offices, and which if not already known to you are accessible to your researches. I can only therefore wish for your historical task all the success which the subject merits, and which is promised by the qualifications ascribed to the author.
I regret the tardiness of this acknowledgment of your letter. My feeble condition and frequent interruptions are the apology, which I pray you to accept with my respects & my cordial salutation.
TO DANIEL DRAKE.mad. mss.
Montpr, Jany 12, 1835.
The copy of your “Discourse on the History character, and prospects of the West,” was duly received,1 and I have read with pleasure, the instructive views taken of its interesting and comprehensive theme. Should the youth addressed and their successors, follow your advice, and their example be elsewhere imitated in noting from period to period the progress and changes of our country under the aspects adverted to, the materials, added to the supplies of the decennial Census, improved as that may be, will form a treasure of incalculable value to the Philosopher, the Lawgiver and the Political Economist. Our history, short as it is, has already disclosed great errors sanctioned by great names, in political science, and it may be expected to throw new lights on problems still to be decided.
The “Note” at the end of the discourse, in which the geographical relations of the States are delineated, merits particular attention. Hitherto hasty observers, and unfriendly prophets, have regarded the Union as too frail to last, and to be split at no distant day, into the two great divisions of East and West. It is gratifying to find that the ties of interest are now felt by the latter not less than the former: ties that are daily strengthened by the improvements made by art in the facilities of beneficial intercourse. The positive advantages of the Union would alone endear it to those embraced by it; but it ought to be still more endeared by the consequences of disunion, in the jealousies & collisions of Commerce, in the border wars, pregnant with others, and soon to be engendered by animosities between the slaveholding, and other States, in the higher toned Govts. especially in the Executive branch, in the military establishments provided agst external danger, but convertible also into instruments of domestic usurpation, in the augmentations of expence, and the abridgment, almost to the exclusion of taxes on consumption (the least unacceptable to the people) by the facility of smuggling among communities locally related as would be the case. Add to all these the prospect of entangling alliances with foreign powers multiplying the evils of internal origin. But I am rambling into observations, with proof in the “Discourse” before me that however just they cannot be needed.
With the thanks Sir which I owe to your politeness in favoring me with it I tender my respectful & cordial salutations.
[1 ]Madison’s advices concerning affairs in Kentucky had come chiefly from John Brown, George Muter, and John Campbell. See ante, Vol. II.
[1 ]He organized the medical department of Cincinnati College this year, and the address was doubtless before that or some other college.