James Madison Papers

Account with Edmund Randolph, [ca. 1 May] 1782

Account with Edmund Randolph

RC (LC: Madison Papers). At the top of this undated, torn, and water-stained scrap of paper, Randolph wrote “Madison to Randolph E.” On the reverse of the sheet, “J. Madison” appears twice in Randolph’s hand and also a “32.” What this numeral connotes is unknown. Being sharp in outline, the “3” can hardly be a vestige of an “8” which, in combination with the “2,” might have represented the year 1782.

Editorial Note

Insofar as is known, the extant correspondence of JM and Randolph does not refer to this statement of account. JM obviously prepared it after Randolph left Philadelphia on 18 March. The first entry in the “Credt.” column may suggest that the statement was drafted before or shortly after Joseph Jones started from that city for Virginia on 2 May 1782. In his letter of 16–17 May, Randolph referred to his debt for the last time in his correspondence with JM (Randolph to JM, 11–13 April, 5, 10, 16–17 May 1782). This fact may indicate that at least by then Randolph had received JM’s statement. JM probably had been fully remunerated by the end of May. See his letter of 4 June 1782 to Randolph.

[ca. 1 May 1782]

E. R. to JM. Dr. Credt.
To ballance pd. at Mrs Houses1 £14–11 By 54⅔ dollrs. recd. on E. R’s acct. out of 130 supplied to Mr. Jones by T. P.7 £20–10
To share in stable 6   
By old ballance 4. drs [1–10]8
To cash lent out of J.M’s share of 23 half Joes recd. from Pleasants2 7–  
To do. 12 Crowns3 5   
To do. at Bells4 3 Crowns 1– 5  Note
The 54⅔ drs. were drawn from the £130 in the hands of Mr Jones for the special purpose of pay to Mrs. House & for the stable9
To do. pd. for Trial per [?] pair [?]5
£12 16 bal: due.6

2Thomas Pleasants, Jr. The “23 half Joes” (about $184 or £70) may have been the money received by JM in Philadelphia on 28 December 1781 through the agency of Pleasants. See Expense Account as Delegate in Congress, 20 March; Randolph to JM, 27–29 June 1782, n. 12; 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 , I, 51, n. 4.

3A British crown is worth five shillings. The “do” in each instance stands for “cash.” In this item and the one following, the sums are multiplied by 1.66 to convert them into Pennsylvania currency.

4This probably was either the Bell Tavern at 48 South Eighth Street or the bookshop of Robert Bell at Third Street near St. Paul’s Church (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 , I, 133, n. 1; John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time [3 vols.; Philadelphia, 1927], III, 365; Joseph Jackson, Encyclopedia of Philadelphia [4 vols.; Harrisburg, Pa., 1931–33], I, 266–69).

5Perhaps “Trial,” which is clearly written in the manuscript, refers to a book. If “Trial” designates a book, “per pair” may signify either that the publication was in two volumes or that Randolph had bought two copies of a single-volume work.

6When Foster Webb, Jr., left Richmond for Philadelphia on 15 May, he took with him from Randolph to deliver to JM “a bill for 20 £. Penna. curren[cy].” By this means Randolph may have paid the balance of his debt (Randolph to JM, 16–17 May; JM to Randolph, 4 June 1782). By applying the depreciation rate of 1.66, £20 equaled about £12 12d.

7Thomas Pleasants, Jr. Dividing dollars by 2.66 converted them into pounds. The date when Randolph received the £20 10s. has not been determined. The account of Joseph Jones with the state auditors shows that Jones was paid £221 by Pleasants in December 1781 and £200 in February 1782 (MS in Virginia State Library).

8What former account between Randolph and JM was balanced so that JM still owed $4.00 to his friend is unknown. The piece missing from the manuscript’s right-hand margin opposite this entry must have noted £1 10s.

9See the first two entries in the debit column.

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