James Madison Papers

Promissory Note from Richard Cutts, 4 April 1817

Promissory Note from Richard Cutts


Washington April 4th. 1817.

For value received, I promise to pay to James Madison Esqr. or order Seven thousand, five hundred Dollars with Interest on demand.

Richard Cutts


Washington April 1st 1817

Received of James Madison Esqr Flour [sic] thousand Dollars to be accounted for

Richard Cutts

RC (NjP: Crane Collection); Tr (DLC); Tr (DLC: Dolley Payne Madison Papers). RC in Richard Cutts’s hand. On the verso of the RC is a note of a later date written and signed in JM’s hand: “Mr. Cutts to be credited for his payments to the Bank of the U.S. on my account for the lots with the improvements, purchased by me.” First Tr is a copy of the RC, including JM’s note, in John Payne Todd’s hand. Both first and second Trs date the $7,500 promissory note “April 1st. 1817.” Second Tr, in an unidentified hand, marked “(Copy.),” is an accurate transcription in all particulars of the first Tr. Filed with the second Tr is an undated memorandum (1 p.) in John Payne Todd’s hand: “A debt occurred from Mr Cutts to J. P. Todd without the Knowledge of last in April 1817. by representating to Mrs Madison that he would make double if allowed the use of the Money on speculation—becoming acquainted with this transaction JP Todd complained most bitterly that any money particularly of his should be for a moment placed in Such hands & only wanted Security for the amount & for if four times made he beleived he would not receive a cent without a matter of interest or coercion on the part of R. C. who it appeared afterwards had made over his property to its fullest extent & continued to do it with his new purchases—Security was considered desperate, & J.P.T. made known his objections made to his mother to R.C. who notwithstanding told him he had Sunk the whole & J.P.T would have examined into all Mr C’s purchases but Mr C. constantly assured J.P.T. that he was to be made good by R. C. and until he committed another act on the pocket of the last which was continued under certain circumstances of which he will not now speak. Suffice it to say the Substance is preserved in the written form. This 1st debt JPT. gave to his mother & wished to try all means to recover it, being a witness in the case.”

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