James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Prichard, 21 October 1805

From William Prichard

Richmond, October. 21st. 1805.


In obedience to your directions of August last,1 I have shipped for New York two cases of books containing 366 Vols of Researches into the History of the United States, and directed them to Mr. Mazzei, at Leghorn Italy,2 to the particular care of Mr. Archd. Campbell Merchant, New York; who, jointly with a friend of mine of the name of John Byrne at that place, promised to see the said Cases reshiped in a safe Vessel, for Leghorn. The bill of Lading from this place to NewYork, I take the liberty to enclose.3 During the long period of time they remained in my hands, none of these books were sold by me, and they are now all returned save eleven setts that would not go in the boxes. Consequently I take them, in some measure to renumerate me for expences incurred thereon, and in order, finally to close that account on my books. Should you deem it necessary to write at the same time to Mr. M, if you address to the care of either Archibald Campbell, or John Byrne, both Merchants, NewYork, it will be forwarded. That you and Lady may long live to enjoy health & happiness are the sincere wishes of, Honble. Sir, Your Obt. hble Servt.

Wm. Prichard4

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC docketed by JM. For enclosure, see n. 3.

1This letter has not been found.

2For Philip Mazzei’s books, see Jefferson to JM, 2 Mar. 1798, Mazzei to JM, 30 Aug. and 15 Dec. 1804, PJM, 17:87, 88 n. 5, PJM-SS, 6:243 n. 1, 7:660, 8:385.

3The enclosure (1 p.) is a copy of the 17 Oct. 1805 bill of lading for “Two Boxes Merchandize” to be shipped in the schooner Weymouth, Capt. W. W. Weymouth, from Richmond to Campbell at New York. The freight charge was two dollars. “Mr. Mazzei Leghorn Italy No. 1—2.” is written in the margin.

4William Prichard (d. 1815) sold books and musical instruments and operated a lending library in Philadelphia for many years before moving to Richmond in the early 1790s. “Probably the principal music merchant in Richmond during the last de cade of the eighteenth century,” he continued to sell books and musical instruments for at least another de cade (Philadelphia Freeman’s Journal: or, The North-American Intelligencer, 12 Sept. 1781; Philadelphia Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 24 Jan. 1788; Philadelphia Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser, 1 May 1792, 28 July 1794; Albert Stoutamire, Music of the Old South: Colony to Confederacy [Rutherford, N.J., 1972], 97).

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