Writings of James Madison, Volume 3

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Author: James Madison

To Thomas Ritchie.

MONTPELLIER, July 2d, 1822.

DR SIR,—I received, some time ago, a letter from Mr. H.G. Spafford, at Ballston Spa, N. York, in which he says, "I wish your Booksellers would encourage me to write a Gazetteer of Virginia. I could travel all over the State, collect materials, and prepare the work for the press, in about two years, on a salary of $1,000 a year, and a few copies of the work."

I answered that I could not undertake to judge how far a Gazetteer for the State, on the plan and terms suggested, would be espoused by our Printers and Booksellers; intimating, at the same time, that a survey was on foot, the details and progress of which I could not tell him; and I took the liberty of referring him to you, as the best source he could consult on the whole subject.

In his reply, just received, he says, "As to a Geography and Gazetteer of Virginia, may I ask of thee the favor to suggest the idea to Mr. Ritchie, of Richmond. As soon as I shall have compleated the one of this State, say by next winter, I should like well to engage in such a work."

Will you be so obliging as to drop me a line, enabling me to say what may be proper to Mr. Spafford? He is, I believe, a worthy man, is very laborious in what he undertakes, and has executed works in N. York analogous to the one for which he offers himself here. He has been the author, also, of one if not more periodical publications. All these together would be a test of his qualifications.

I am sorry to be the occasion of any encroachment on your time, especially as it may be a useless one; but, apart from the introduction already made of your name, I should be at a loss for another resort equally capable of furnishing the desired information.

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Chicago: James Madison Jr., "To Thomas Ritchie.," Writings of James Madison, Volume 3 in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.272 Original Sources, accessed August 11, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AB5BUW6262H9UH.

MLA: Madison, James, Jr. "To Thomas Ritchie." Writings of James Madison, Volume 3, in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.272, Original Sources. 11 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AB5BUW6262H9UH.

Harvard: Madison, J, 'To Thomas Ritchie.' in Writings of James Madison, Volume 3. cited in , James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.272. Original Sources, retrieved 11 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4AB5BUW6262H9UH.