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title:“James Madison to S. H. Smith”
authors:James Madison
date written:1827-2-2

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:24 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 27, 2024, 8:00 p.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Letter to S. H. Smith." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

James Madison to S. H. Smith (February 2, 1827)

Montpr. Feby. 2. 1827.
I have great respect for your suggestion with respect to the season for making public what I have preserved of the proceedings of the Revolutionary Congress, and of the General Convention of 1787. But I have not yet ceased to think, that publications of them, posthumous as to others as well as myself, may be most delicate and most useful also, if to be so at all. As no personal or party views can then be imputed, they will be read with less of personal or party feelings, and consequently, with whatever profit, may be promised by them. It is true also that after a certain date, the older such things grow, the more they are relished as new; the distance of time like that of space from which they are received, giving them that attractive character It cannot be very long however before the living obstacles to the forthcomings in question, will be removed. Of the members of Congress during the period embraced, the lamps of all are extinct, with the exception I believe of 2. Rd. Peters, & myself; and of the signers of the Constitution, of all but 3. R. King, Wm. Few and myself; and of the lamps still burning, none can now be far from the Socket.

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