James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John O. Lay, 12 January 1822

From John O. Lay

Richmond 12th. Jan. 1822


Understanding from my friend Col. Dade1 that you would probably make trial of this market with your present crop of Tobacco and having heretofore effected satisfactory Sales for several of your neighbors I beg leave to offer you my services as a Commission Merchant. The Tobacco from your neighborhood so far as it has come under my observation is in high repute with us and I think generally commands a preference.

Sales of very indifferent quality are now made at $5 @ $6. and for 2 Hhds. of Mr. C. Macons I this morning obtained $9¼ which latter price however is more than any other of the new crop has been sold for this season. I am Sir Very Respy Your Obt. Servt.

Jno. O. Lay2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Lawrence Taliaferro Dade (1785–1842), a veteran of the War of 1812, represented Orange County, Virginia, in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1808–19, and in the state senate, 1819–32. He later moved to Owensboro, Kentucky, where he died (Hayden, Virginia Genealogies [1973 reprint], 733).

2John Olmsted Lay was a Richmond merchant and agent for the Aetna Fire Insurance Company. He handled JM’s tobacco sales in 1824 and 1825 (Richmond Enquirer, 19 June 1829 and 29 Dec. 1838; Lay to JM, 11 May 1824 and 2 Aug. 1825, DLC).

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