Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Monroe, James (1758-1831) to Landon Carter

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00124 Author/Creator: Monroe, James (1758-1831) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 17 June 1811 Pagination: 2 p. : address : free frank ; 24.7 x 20.2 cm.

Monroe, Secretary of State, replies to a letter and carriage model he recently received from Carter. Informs Carter that he delivered these items to the patent office immediately. Monroe had become Secretary of State just; two months earlier.

Washington June. 17. 1811.
Dear Sir
As soon as I recd your letter with yr. model of a carriage constructed on a new plan to avoid overtilting, I deposited it in the patent office. It is not usual for me to do more. The clerk in that office does everything else. I intended when I obtained a moment of leisure, to write you as a friend & to acknowledge your very kind communication which gave me much pleasure, as I knew it breathed sentiments which came from your heart. You have since written me a rather scolding letter- but I forgive you, as I am satisfied you will me on reflection. The truth is I have much to do here, in business the most urgent, so that I hardly ever have a moment for my friends. Many I know I neglect, but I rely on their indulgence, and their knowledge of me. On your plan I can say nothing at this time, having not examined it with sufficient attention to judge of it. Indeed the patent office is a mile or nearly it from me and placing it there made it difficult for me to have access to it but I will look into it and inform you hereafter.
I shall be happy to see you here [2] and always to give you proof that I have the feelings towards which I had 30 years ago.
Sincerely I am your friend & sevt
Jas Monroe
[address leaf:]Department of State Jas Monroe/Landon Carter Esquire/Cleve- near K. George/ court house -/Virginia
[address leaf side:]Correspondence bundle

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources