From David Jameson
RC (LC: Madison Papers). Docketed by JM, “March 23d. 1782.”
Richmond Mch 23. 1782
I have your favour of the 12t.1 and have reason to suppose I did not express my meaning, properly when I mentioned the Associate to Mr. Andrews. there cannot be a doubt but a person skilled in Astronomy ought to be preferred. I intended to say, if such a person could not be got, a Man of Integrity & Abilities in other requisites would be necessary, and the Astro. observations must then rest with Mr Andrews only. I wrote on the occasion to our friend Page (the Man among us I should prefer, and who as you justly observe is in every point qualified)—and although he did not positively say he would go to Phila., yet he left me room to believe he would not refuse: And he was appointed.2 But the matter is now cut very short. The Governor recd. a letter by Post this Week from the President of Pena. desiring to postpone the final adjustment of the Boundary, and proposing a temporary line to be run, which is agreed to. the reason assigned for defering the Astro. observations, is the disturbances & dangers likely to be occasioned by the Indians to the Westward3
I am very glad Congress have determined to name Commissioners to settle the Accots. in the different States.4 I shall now hope the prejudices conceived against Virginia will be soon removed[.] I fear very few Men will be brought into the field by our endeavours to enforce the draft in the (last years) delinquent Counties. In several of them Assessments were not made, or divisions laid off. And I fear there is some obstacle in each of them that cannot be removed but by the Legislature.5 I have some hope from the Circular letter,6 but I confess not great. Some Substitutes will be got. the people are well aware that if Men cannot be recruited under the last law, a draft must take place as soon as the Assembly meets; and I think a good number will guard against the draft by hiring substitutes
My Nephew7 writes me that he has recd. no letter from me for some Months past. I was in hopes those I took the liberty to trouble you with would get to him[.] I again take the liberty to inclose a letter for him. he will I expect be in Philadelphia by the time this gets to hand We have no News worth relating. You are told in the paper that a French Frigate was arrd. in York River and brot. several interesting Accots. No Frigate was arrd., but we hope the intelligence said to be brot. by her is true.8
I am with great esteem D Sir Yr obt hb Set
If Col Jameson does not soon come to Phila. be so kind as put the letter under Cover & forward it to him.
1. Not found, but portions of it can be surmised from the present letter.
2. See Harrison to JM, 19 January, and n. 3; JM to Harrison, 1 and 7 February; and Jameson to JM, 23 February 1782. On 14 March the Council of State advised Governor Harrison to request John Page, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, 1763, to accept the assignment. Page apparently agreed at once, because he was one of the four commissioners of Virginia when Harrison wrote to him nine days later (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, 59; McIlwaine, Official Letters description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed., Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia (3 vols.; Richmond, 1926–29). description ends , III, 179–80). The Reverend Robert Andrews a decade before had been tutor to Page’s children (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 , III, 312, n. 2).
3. On 2 March the Pennsylvania General Assembly had resolved that “from the great expences necessarily attending the compleating the Line between this State and Virginia, it would be most prudent to defer it for the present. And that a temporary Line during the Continuance of the present War, or till times are more settled on the Frontiors, may be made and agreed on at a small expence, which will answer every purpose expected,—and to effect which Council will take the necessary measures” (Pennsylvania Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds., Pennsylvania Archives (9 ser.; 138 vols.; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949). description ends , 1st ser., IX, 506–7). The letter from President William Moore of Pennsylvania to Governor Harrison has not been found, but Harrison’s answer, dated 22 March, is printed ibid., 1st ser., IX, 518–19, and in McIlwaine, Official Letters description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed., Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia (3 vols.; Richmond, 1926–29). description ends , III, 176–77. See also 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, 63.
4. See JM to Pendleton, 7 February, and n. 6; Report on Settlement of Accounts, 20 and 27 February; and Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 25 February 1782, and n. 1.
5. 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 , III, 317–18; 318, n. 3; Jameson to JM, 26 January, and n. 1; and Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 15 February 1782. The Virginia General Assembly enacted on 2 July 1782 a new statute providing for the recruitment of three thousand continental troops. Of this number, each county was allotted a quota equal to one-fifteenth of its quota of militia (Minute Book, House of Delegates, May 1782 description begins Minute Book, House of Delegates, May 1782, MS in Virginia State Library. description ends , p. 86; Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , XI, 14–20). See Randolph to JM, 20 June 1782, and n. 48.
7. Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson of Culpeper County, second in command of the 2d Continental Dragoons, then stationed under General Heath on the lower Hudson River (Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians description begins John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775–1783 (Richmond, 1938). description ends , p. 413).