John Bradford to Virginia Delegates
Copy (Virginia State Library). This copy, in JM’s hand, is docketed by him, “Letter from J. Bradford Boston March 20th. 1782 to J Madison & J Jones relating to certain Stores belonging to Virginia No. 1. 1782. March 20th.” The Virginia delegates enclosed the copy in their letter of 23 April 1782 to Harrison.
Boston 20th. March 1782
Your favor under the 5th. currt.1 reached me last evening by the post, to which I beg leave to reply that the Stores2 lye unsold tho’ nothing has been wanting in my power to get them off, the most I coud obtain for the Shot was the price of old Iron and but one or two articles among the whole that would sell to greater advantage. I found if I had risked them at vendue they wd. scarcely have sold for enough to pay charges. Our Governor3 gave me hopes that great part of them might be purchased for the use of our Castle,4 and when the Court met I preferred a memorial, offering the Articles at prime Cost, but in vain. they gave me for answer they were not wanted, if the spirit of privateering sd. again revive they may be in demand in part & with that prospect its possible there may be those who might speculate. If you chuse to have them sold at auction you will please to signify & it shall be done on the best terms possible.
I have &c.
(signed) J. Bradford5
1. Apparently the delegates’ letter of 5 March 1782 is not extant.
2. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (4 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 308, and n. 3. The revival of interest in Virginia’s consignment of military stores, which had been landed at Boston over two years before, after being shipped by Penet, d’Acosta Frères et Cie of Nantes, may reflect the recent decision of the governor and council of Virginia to reach a financial settlement with that firm and dispense with its services as foreign commercial agent (Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 34).
3. John Hancock.
4. Castle William was an island fortress in Boston Harbor.