Virginia Delegates in Congress
to Samuel Nightingale, Jr.
RC (Rhode Island Historical Society). Written and franked by JM. Addressed to “Samuel Nightingale Esqr. Providence Rhode Island.” Docketed by Nightingale, “Messrs Madison & Bland, Letter dated Jany 2nd 1781 also an Order from them for the Virginia Goods whic[h] is Delivered Jany 31st 1781.”
Philada. Jany. 2d. 1781
We have been honored with yours of the 6th. Ulto. and in behalf of the State we represent are greatly obliged by the attention you have been pleased to pay to their interest in the Comitè and her Cargo,1 a continuance of which we must request. We conceived when we last wrote that a speedy and safe conveyance of the arms ammunition cloathing & other Articles might be obtained by land.2 To that end we obtained an order of Congress to the Board of War directing them to order the Quarter Master General or his Deputy to send them on as expeditiously as possible and also a requisition of Congress to the State of Rhode Island, to cause the residue of the arms that were adjudged to the recaptors, to be purchased and sent on.3 We have now hopes of as certain and a more speedy conveyance for them & therefore have to request you that (if they are not already sent forward by the first intended mode of conveyance) they may be delivered to our order, which you will probably receive soon after the receipt of this.4 You will oblige us by taking triplicate receipts for the Articles you may deliver, one of which to be sent to the Governor of Virginia, another to us & the third to be kept by yourself. We are in behalf of the state we represent,
Yr. Most Obt. & humble servants
James Madison Junr
1. See Nightingale to Virginia Delegates, 6 December 1780 and n. 4, 15 February 1781.
2. Letter has not been found (Nightingale to Virginia Delegates, 6 December 1780, n. 2). The delegates wrote Nightingale on 30 December, but by then they had already decided to have the goods carried to Virginia by sea.
3. The order to the Board of War and the requisition on Rhode Island passed on 2 October 1780 (Journals of the Continental Congress, XVIII, 890).