To Virginia Auditors of Public Accounts
RC (Virginia State Library). Addressed by JM to “The Auditors of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The file copy, with a slightly variant text, is in the University of Virginia Library.
Philada. Aug: 20th. 1782.
Since the 20th. of March last, the date of my acct. last transmitted,2 I have received from Peter Whitesides & Co. in consequence of orders from Mr. Ross £251..5. Pennsylvania currency.3 All my previous receipts are stated in my accts. of previous date.4 The scale of depreciation will reduce them to specie value. The time of my attendance on Congress is to be computed from March 20th. 1780. & the length of my journey hither at 260 Miles: as will likewise appear by my accounts formerly transmitted.5 As the Genl. Assembly have fixed a daily rate for the subsistence of the Delegates which I understand is to be retrospective as well as future in its application, you will now I presume be able to strike the balance due to me. I beg the favor of you to furnish Edmund Randolph Esqr. with a warrant on the Treasury for this balance for my use: or in case that cannot be immediately ascertained, for such sum on account as he shall apply for & will be within the probable amount of it.6
I am Gentlemen with great respect Yr. obt. & hble servt.
J. Madison Jr.
3. Ibid., IV, 400, n. 2; Ambler to JM, 3 August 1782, and n. 4. On 1 July the Virginia General Assembly stipulated by law that the delegates should receive quarterly for their past as well as future services “in lieu of the former pay and allowance heretofore made them,” eight dollars per day for every day they shall be travelling to, attending on, and returning from congress” (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 87–88; 377, n. 12; 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, 31–32). This merger of salary and allowance money freed the delegates from itemizing and obtaining vouchers to validate their living costs. Thus, too, the auditors were released from translating the Pennsylvania-currency entries on the delegates’ expense accounts into Virginia-currency equivalents.
JM’s notation (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 108), that on 23 March 1782 he had received £93 15s cash from Peter Whiteside and Company, is substantiated by an identical entry on the treasurer’s master account, entitled, “The Commonwealth of Virginia in Accompt with James Madison, junr.” (MS in Virginia State Library). In the account there are also listed the following cash payments, on behalf of Virginia, to JM by the same firm: 25 May—£22 10s; 28 June—£90; 12 July—£75. Adding these three amounts to the £93 15s results in a total of £281 5s, Pennsylvania currency, rather than £251 5s as stated by JM. In his letter of 20 August 1782 to Randolph (q.v.), he noted the correct total.
4. There had not been (and there would not be during the rest of 1782) a financial settlement between JM and Virginia since he left his home in Orange County about 8 March 1780 to travel to Philadelphia (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 3; 97–98; 251–52; III, 37–38; 162–63; 263–64; 333–35; IV, 108; 109).
5. See n. 4, above. An entry under the heading “Value in Specie Virginia Curry,” on the master account mentioned in n. 3, reads, “To 12 days travelling to, and 1017 days constant attendance at Philadelphia. viz from the 20th of March 1780 to the 31. December 1782.—[£]2469 12[s].” The per diem rate of £2 4s must have been accounted equivalent to the $8.00 specie, prescribed by the law of 1 July 1782. At the close of 1782, in addition to £2,469 12s, JM was owed £9 2s for two bills chargeable to Virginia which he had paid in Philadelphia in 1780. A treasurer’s account in the Virginia State Library summarizing the “Accompt with James Madison jun.” shows that from 14 December 1779, when he had been elected to Congress (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, 318), to 12 July 1782 (n. 3, above), he had received from the Commonwealth on various dates a total of £1,073 5s.