To James Madison, Sr.
RC (LC: Madison Papers). Cover addressed by JM to “Col. James Madison Orange County Virginia.” Docketed by James Madison, Sr., “Jany 1. 1783.” In his old age JM wrote “Madison Jr Jany 1. 1783” on the cover above “Jany. 1: 1783,” which also is in his hand.
Jany 1st. 1783
Mr. Fitzpatrick1 this moment called on me with notice of his having seen you and b[e]ing desired to let me know that you & the family were well. I had the pleasure of hearing the same by Mr. Jefferson who arrived here a few days ago2 Mr. F. sets out so quickly that I have but barely time to tell you that I am well & to inclose you a bundle of Newspapers, from which you will be able [to] gather all the late news. The negociations for peace are said to be going on under the late Commission to Mr. Oswald which authorises him to treat with Commisrs. from the 13 United States.3 Mr. Jefferson will depart in a little time, in order to give his aid in case it be in season.4 The insidiousness & instabil[it]y of the B. cabinet forbid us to be sanguine, especially as the releif of Gibralter was posterior to Oswald’s Commission, and the interests to be adjusted among the belligerent parties are extremely complicated.5
I am with great affection yr. dutf. son
J Madison Jr.
1. Probably Thomas Fitzpatrick (d. 1787), a native of Ireland who was brought as a child to Pennsylvania and had settled in Albemarle County, Va., by 1750 (Albemarle County Court Records, Will Book 3, p. 35, and Deed Book 1, p. 229, microfilm in Va. State Library; Reba Fitzpatrick Lea, The “Belfield” Fitzpatricks and “Elim” Colemans: Their History and Genealogy [Lynchburg, Va., 1958], p. 12).
2. Having been reappointed by Congress as a peace commissioner, Thomas Jefferson reached Philadelphia on 27 December. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 232; 473; 474, n. 7.
5. See n. 3. A British fleet, commanded by Admiral Lord Howe, had forced the Spanish and French in mid-October 1782 to raise their siege of Gibraltar. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 198, n. 10.