CHAPTER 15 | Document 41

Edmund Randolph to James Madison

19 May 1789Madison Papers 12:168--69

I wish, that by communicating with a friend, I could forget the situation of my wife. She suspects and I fear truly, that she has a cancer in her mouth. She supposes, that she feels all the acknowledged symptoms of that cruel ulcer, and that it has advanced most rapidly for a month past. In this country [Virginia] real aid is unattainable; nay even that species of aid, which can merely flatter, is unattainable. I have resolved, if the alarm should prove decidedly true, to carry her to Europe or Philadelphia. The former holds out the best source of hope; but I see no chance of converting property into sterling money. The latter would be visited with more ease. But as I should be obliged almost to become a resident there, should I go upon such an errand, pecuniary difficulties would be equally great. An effort, however, must be made, even at the risque of my whole fortune. Indeed I have sometimes seriously thought of attempting something professional, should I be compelled to visit Philadelphia without being able to raise money from my estate. In that case, a new revolution would take place with me. For if I found that I could live there, I should emancipate my slaves, and thus end my days, without undergoing any anxiety about the injustice of holding them. But I really do not know, why I have troubled you with this detail, unless I am imperceptibly led to unbosom myself to you without reserve; being always Yrs. mo. sincerely & afftely.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 15, Document 41
The University of Chicago Press

The Papers of John Marshall. Edited by Herbert A. Johnson et al. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1974--.

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