James Madison Papers
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Expense Account as Delegate in Congress, 27 March 1781

Expense Account as Delegate in Congress

MSS (Virginia State Library). JM addressed the covering letter to “The Auditors of Public Accounts for the State of Virginia at Richmond.” The statement of debits and credits is in JM’s hand. Also in the Virginia State Library is the auditors’ ledger page for JM. The only entry on it which supplements the information furnished by JM’s own statement is mentioned in a footnote.

Philada March 27t. 1781.


The inclosed is a state of my account with the Commonwealth of Virginia from the 20th of Decr 1780 to the 20th of March 1781 being one 1 Quarter

I have the honor to be with great respect, Gentlemen your obedt & humble servant

J Madison Junr.

Dr.    James Madison Junr. in Account with the Commonwealth of Virginia    Cr.
Dollars 1781
1781. To Balance due on settlement Decr. 20th 115022 March 20. By Board & lodging including Company6 from Decr. 20th. -80 26400
Jany 3d. To Cash recd. of Mich: Graatz balance due on a warrant drawn in his favor on the Auditors by the Delegates 60003 By incidental expences in fruits & not included in board 736
Feby 3. To do. recd. of Mr. Jones 10,648⅔ By expence of two horses at the public Stables from Decr. 20 3844
21.4 To do. recd. of do 20,222½5 By forage for do. during scarcities at the stables 690
48,373 By 1¼ Cord of Wood 714
By Candles 230
By Washing 1680
By Barber 420
By allowance for 90 days at 20 drs per day 1800
Balance in hand 11859

1Harrison Randolph, Bolling Stark, and Edward Archer, Jr. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (2 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 78–79. Stark, the newest member of the Board, had been named to it by Governor Jefferson in January 1781 as an interim appointee until the meeting of the General Assembly in March. On 19 March the Assembly elected Stark to the position (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (16 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , V, 35; Journal of the House of Delegates, March 1781 description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used, unless otherwise noted, is the one in which the journals for 1777–1781 are brought together in one volume, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , pp. 34, 38).

2Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (2 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 252.

3Ibid., II, 252–53.

4In the Executive Papers, Virginia State Library, is an auditors’ ledger sheet headed “The Commonwealth of Virga. in acct with Jos[ep]h Jones.” On this sheet the dates of Jones’s payments to JM are 4 and 25 February. On 29 January 1781 Jones resumed his seat in Congress after a long visit to Virginia (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XIX, 94). See also Jones’s letter of 4 February 1781 to Theodorick Bland in Charles Campbell, ed., The Bland Papers, Being a Selection from the Manuscripts of Colonel Theodorick Bland, Jr., of Prince George County, Virginia (2 vols.; 1840–43), II, 58–59.

5On the auditors’ ledger sheet for JM, this payment and the two payments immediately above it are converted into “Specie Virga Curry” by first of all applying 100 as the rate of depreciation for the entry of 3 January, 110 for that of 3 February, and 120 for that of 21 February. The resulting amount in each case is then divided by 3⅓ in order to transpose the continental dollars into Virginia pounds. Thus, the $6,000 becomes £18, the $10,648⅔ becomes £19 1s., and the $20,222⅓ becomes £50 11s.

6On the auditors’ ledger sheet for JM, “& liquors” follows “Compy.”

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