James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Stephen Moylan, 18 February 1800

From Stephen Moylan

Philadelphia Februa. 18th. 1800


I received your letter of the 18th Janu.1 and paid your bill on me for 226 Dol.—67 Cents when presented to me, Mr. Barnes called on me, I mentioned the terms I woud occupy your house at the end of my lease, he thought it low, but I told him if he Could let it for more than 200 dollars, I woud give it up on the 2nd of May next, the first of April is the time when we both, must determine. Inclosed you have the account current, since a ballance was struck on my books by my paying £59.7.6 to Mr. Jefferson by your order in May 1798. There is a tax Laid by the Corporation for bringing Watter into this City2 which I have been called on for, but have not yet paid, as I was doubtfull of its legality, I consulted my Lawyer, his answer was simple, but expressive, I have paid it. What the sum is I am ignorant of.

You sir must naturally see the reason for the great fall of rents in this City, the federal and state governments removal, but pri[n]cipaly the sickness which has drove the inhabitants for three months from hence, this has been my case for the three last years. Indeed I remember the house I now live in renting for £50 per an before our Revolutionary war, I have no doubt but it will come to that rent again on a General peace. I am sir respectfully Your obedt. servt

Stephen Moylan


James Madison Jr. Esqr. Debr.
July 21 To Cash paid H. Ross for painting £18.15.—
Jany. 6 do. to Mr Jefferson 66.10.—
Feby. do. to Mr Barnes 42.10.—
May 10. do to do 42.10.—
June 11 do to J Park for taxes 1798 13.14. 6
July 18 do to J Mease do. 1799 14. 8. 4
1800 Do for his bill favor Vandovall   85     
£ 283. 7.10
ballance 14. 2. 2
£ 297.10.—
May 2nd one Years rent £ 170.—  
Novr 2 half years rent 85.—  
Feby 2nd. one qrs. rent   42.10  
£ 297.10.—

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC addressed by Moylan to JM at Orange Court House. Docketed by JM.

1Letter not found.

2The building of the Schuylkill waterworks, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe to bring pure water into the city of Philadelphia, was begun in 1799. As Thomas Cope, a city councilman noted, “The Councils were bored by petitions from all quarters of the City & the members were perpetually dinned with the cry of ‘Water, water; no matter as to expense.’” In order to finance the construction of two pumping stations, the city council levied a tax. The waterworks began operation 27 Jan. 1801 (Weigley, Philadelphia, pp. 226–28; Eliza Cope Harrison, ed., Philadelphia Merchant: The Diary of Thomas P. Cope, 1800–1851 [South Bend, Ind., 1978], pp. 30–31).

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