James Madison Papers

Virginia Delegates in Congress to Samuel Nightingale, Jr., 30 December 1780

Virginia Delegates in Congress
to Samuel Nightingale, Jr.

RC (Rhode Island Historical Society). Although the cover sheet is missing, this note was almost certainly addressed to Nightingale. It is in Theodorick Bland’s hand except for JM’s signature.

Philadelphia Dcr. 30th [1780]


Please to deliver to the Order of Monsr. de Touche,1 Commander in Chief of the Squadron of his Most Christian Majesty now at Rhode Island, the Arms, Amunition Cloathing Medcines and other Articles, imported in the Comite on account of the State of Virginia and oblige Sr.2

Yr. most obedt. H. Sets

James Madison Junr.
Theok: Bland

1Captain Charles René Dominique Sochet Destouches (1727–1793) had succeeded to the command of the French ships at Newport on the death of Admiral Ternay, on 15 December 1780, and he remained in command until the arrival in May 1781 of Admiral Jacques Melchior, Comte de Barras-Saint-Laurent. A captain since 1772, Destouches was promoted to commander in 1782 and rear admiral in 1792 (Baron Ludovic de Contenson, La Société des Cincinnati de France et la guerre d’Amérique 1778–1783 [Paris, 1934], p. 271).

2See Nightingale to Virginia Delegates, 6 December 1780, and nn. 1 and 4; Jefferson to Virginia Delegates, 18 December 1780, headnote, and n. 1. Below the signatures is the following order: “the things mentioned are to be delivered to Mr. dubose [?] agent of the French fleet at providence [.] newport the 26t january 1781. [signed] Destouches.” Since this letter of the Virginia delegates was handed to La Luzerne for inclosure in his dispatch of 2 January 1781 to Destouches (Charles Campbell, ed., Bland Papers, II, 30–31, where it is incorrectly dated 2 January 1780), the latter probably added his postscript before the letter reached Nightingale. For “Mr. dubose,” see Nightingale to Virginia Delegates, 15 February 1781, n. 2.

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