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President James Madison Receives a Manuscript Poem as an "Apology for the Introduction of Yesterday"

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c. 1809 Federal Period, Unique Manuscript Poem, Apologizing to President James Madison for an Introduction of the Day Before, Referring to "Freedom's Natal Day" - (July 4th, 1776), with Integral Transmittal Cover to “His Excellency The President Of The United States”, Very Fine.

This apparent “Apology” was sent in Poem form to President Madison (not signed by Madison), no date or place, and reads, in full:

“How poor? how rich? how abject? how august?

How complicate? - how wonderful is man?

How passing wonder He, who made him such! Young.

If Fancy move the Poet's tongue,

In futile, or in useful song,

She much doth Fashion more,

As gems deep hid in grossest clay,

The Lapidary doth display,

'Twas Fancy bade explore.

So, if on Freedom's natal day,

Untimely should the Muses' pay,

Their rev'rence to her Friend

Great Chief, excuse! humanely so,

Such midnight thoughts again may flow,

To 'meliorate or, amend. - (Signed) F”.

Original Manuscript Poem with Integral Addressed Leaf on verso reading: "To His Excellency The President of the United States", and beautifully Handwritten Poem titled: "Apology for the Introduction of Yesterday". This highly unusual undated Poem is boldly written by its unknown author, and is easily readable on 1 page, measuring 9-3/4" x 7-3/4", no date or place, and simply Signed, "F". Two small fold holes affect two words of text, reinforced with a short piece of clear tape on the verso, corner clip. Refers to "Freedom's Natal Day", likely a reference to the Fourth of July, and to the "Great Chief" (President Madison) being Freedom's friend.



Provenance: From the James Madison papers offered for sale in 1894 by Edward Boker Sterling (1851-1925), a stamp, coin and autograph dealer of Trenton, NJ.
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Lot Number: 220
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