American Presidents

James Madison

James Madison

In the following letter to his father, Madison gives an account of his honeymoon with his wife Dolley.

Harewood, October 5, 1794

Dear and Honord Sir:

Our time was passed there with great pleasure on our side, and I hope with not less on the other.
    I have detained Sam, by whom I send this, so much longer than I intended and you expected, that many apologies are due for the liberty. I hope it will be a sufficient one that I found him indispensable for a variety of little services, which I did not particularly take into view before I left Orange. These he can himself explain, and I therefore leave the task to him, proceeding to the history of what relates to myself. On my arrival here I was able to urge so many conveniences in hastening the event, which I solicited, that it took place of the 15th ult. On the Friday following we set out, accompanied by Miss A. Payne, and Miss Harriot Washington, on a visit to my sister Hite, where we arrived the next day, having stopped a night at Winchester with Mr. Bailmain. We had been a day or two only at Mr. Hite's, before a slight indisposition, which my wife had felt for several days, ended in a regular ague and fever. The fits, tho' succeeded by compleat intermissions, were so severe that I thought it prudent to call in a Physician from Winchester. Docr Mackay not being in the way, Docr Baldwin attended, and by a [decisive] administration of the Bark soon expelled the complaint. She has since recovered very fast, and I hope, notwithstanding a slight indisposition this morning which may be the effect of fatigue and change of weather, that its return is not in the least to be apprehended. We left Mr. Hite's the day before yesterday. Our time was passed there with great pleasure on our side, and I hope with not less on the other. Our departure however was embittered by the loss sustained the night preceding by my sister, which you will have an account of from Mr. H. by this opportunity. In about 8 or 10 days we expect to set out for Philadelphia, and your daughter-in-law begs you and my mother to accept her best and most respectful affections, which she means to express herself by an early opportunity. She wishes Fanny also to be sensible of the pleasure with which a correspondence with her would be carried on . . . .
    With my sincere prayers that perfect health and every other good may attend you both I

remain yr affect son

J. Madison, Jr.

[The above letter is reproduced exactly as written and was obtained through the archives at the Library of Congress]

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