James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John S. Barbour, 18 April 1818

From John S. Barbour

Orange Ct Ho. April 18th. 1818

Dear Sir

I had until this moment intended visiting you this Evening with a view to full information in the matter so long since entrusted to me.1 The indisposition of my child of which I am just apprised renders my immediate return indispensible. For the present I can only say that there will be a decree for the Sale of the Mortgaged premises at the present term of the Fredericksburg Chancery Court and my opinion is very decisive that your interest will be promoted by becoming the purchaser. The reasons of this opinion as well as the day of Sale will be communicated to you in detail, in due time, probably the next or following week, at which time I will inclose you a copy of the decree. Most respectfully yrs

Jno: S. Barbour2


1JM had retained Barbour to foreclose on a mortgage he held from John Strode of Culpeper County, Virginia, on property Strode owned in neighboring Fauquier County. At JM’s request Barbour instituted a suit in 1815 in Fredericksburg chancery court (Barbour to JM, 30 June 1815 [DLC]). For John Strode, see PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:25 n. 2. For the origin of Strode’s debt to JM, see Strode to JM, 9 Aug. 1813, ibid., 6:507, 508 n. 1.

2John Strode Barbour (1790–1855), was born at Fleetwood, the Culpeper County home of his grandfather John Strode, which he later inherited. A graduate of the College of William and Mary and a lawyer, Barbour served in the Virginia House of Delegates for eight terms between 1813 and 1834, and in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1823–33. He was a cousin of James and Philip Pendleton Barbour and served as an aide to Gen. William Madison in the War of 1812. Barbour’s eulogy of JM, delivered at Culpeper Court House on 18 July 1836, was published in the Daily National Intelligencer on 2 Aug. 1836 (R. A. Brock, Virginia and Virginians [2 vols.; 1888; reprint, Spartanburg, S.C., 1973], 1:114).

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