Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, [ca. 11 January 1791]

From James Madison

[ca. 11 Jan. 1791]

T. J. to J. M. Dr.
To advances for him on the road to Philada. £14–5–6
To Horse
    Credit By 50 dollars £18–15–
Balance to T.J.  £4–9–6 Pa. Curry.

If the intended charge of £25. for the Horse is not cancelled by the presumptive evidence that he was not sound at the time of sending him, the balance will lie on the other side. The scruples of J. M. on this point are not affected, and are enforced by his having discovered after the death of the Horse from the servant who accompanied Mr. J. that on his return the Horse was taken very sick and drenched, and from the symptoms mentioned it can scarcely be doubted that the malady must have been the prelude of that which proved fatal. To get rid of all embarrassment on either side, J. M. thinks it essential that a common friend should hear and decide the case, and for that purpose insists that it be stated to such an one1 by both, on the first convenient occasion. Mr. Hawkins occurs as an eligible umpire. The map and 1st. chapter of the Magazine seem to contain Pond’s Western discoveries and are curious.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); undated; endorsed by TJ:

“Madison James
  Virga curry £25 = 83.33
  Pennsylva do   4–9–6 = 11.93

This letter must have been written between those from Madison to TJ of 10 and 12 Jan. 1791. TJ’s endorsement reveals that the analysis by the Editors in the note to the latter is erroneous. As the Madison biographers contradicated there had correctly argued, TJ mistakenly added when he should have subtracted the sum Madison owed him for Advances…on the road to the amount he owed Madison For the horse, and Madison’s refund of $23.26 came after rather than before TJ’s payment of $95.26. See also MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, forthcoming in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 12 Jan. 1791.

The Western discoveries of Peter Pond, the American fur trader and explorer, including an erroneous description of a Northwest water passage to the Pacific, were described in extracts from an anonymous letter dated Quebec, 7 Nov. 1789, and an accompanying “Map shewing the communication of the Lakes and the Rivers between Lake Superior and Slave Lake in North America,” both of which appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine, lx (1790), 197–9, and were reprinted in the New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository, i (1790), 677–80. See also Grace L. Nute, “A Peter Pond Map, “Minnesota History, xiv (1933), 81–4.

1Preceding four words interlined.

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