James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edward Stevens, 31 January 1789

From Edward Stevens

Culpeper Court House
Saturday Night Jany 31st: 1789

Dear Sir

I understand Colo. Munroe came into this County on Thursday last. From the period of time, suppose his intention is to remain, and be at the Election on Monday next. I wish it could be convenient for you to be present also. My desire Proceeds from no other motive, than that I think by both Candidates being together on that day the People might have a better Oppty of Judging for themselves, and the Election perhaps more fair.1

I have been very anxious to contrive my matters in such a way as to be at the election, but the badness of the roads the uncertainty of the kind of Weather, which perhaps may be such as to occasion high Waters, will make it two dangerous to Venture not seting out for Richmond until Monday evening.2 And without I could remain nearly the day out, a Partial Part of it would be no very great consideration, therefore think I shall set out in the morning. I am very respectfully Dear Sir Your very Obt. Servt

Edward Stevens

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Both candidates understood the crucial importance of Culpeper and spent much time there during this cold January. On one occasion they attended a Lutheran church service together and afterwards addressed the people in the open air, an experience that resulted in a mild case of frostbite for JM (Rives, Life of Madison, II, 656–57 n.; Randall, Life of Jefferson, III, 255 n. 2). At the election on 2 Feb., JM won Culpeper handily and in the district as a whole defeated Monroe by a 336-vote plurality. The Fredericksburg Va. Herald of 12 Feb. 1789 reported returns by county:

JM Monroe
Albemarle 174 105
Amherst 145 246
Fluvanna 42 63
Goochland 132 133
Louisa 228 124
Spotsylvania 115 189
Orange 216 9
Culpeper 256 103
 1,308   972

2A ten-inch snowfall this day was followed by two days of extreme cold. On election day, 2 Feb., the temperature dropped below zero (PPAmP: Madison Meteorological Journal; Fredericksburg Va. Herald, 5 Feb. 1789).

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