James Madison Papers

Carver Willis to James Madison, 15 January 1827

Richmond 15th. Jany 1827


I received a letter a few days since; from the widow of my old friend, and former neighbour Mr. William Tapscott: who in conjunction with Mr. Benjn. Bell, purchased of you, 2000. acres of land in Davis County Kentucky, prior to their removal from Jefferson Virginia, to that State, at three dollars p acre, $2000. paid in hand, and the balance in two anual payments of $2000. each, for which they gave their joint bonds. On one of these bonds, Mr. Tapscott paid $1000. the balance is still due you—I am earnestly injoined, by Mrs. Tapscott, to make known to you, the destressed situation, in which herself, and her children are plased; and further, to present to you, her several propositions; either of which if exsepted, she thinks, may release her from the impendent ruin, that awaits her and her children—In the first plase then she proposes; that she may be released from the joint contract, upon paying up the remaining $1000. due, as her deceased husbands one half of the purchase money. And to enable her to do so, asks as a special favour, that you would take back so much of the land, as is now unpaid fore; or if this is thought unreasonable, that you would, through an Agent, put it in her power to sell as much of the land, as will pay the balance due from her deced husband; and deed the remainder to herself and her children—Mrs. Tapscott further states, that the Land was originally in two tracts, one in your name, the other in that, of Ambrose Madison; that the land had been divided, by consent of parties, and that her husband at his death, was in possession of the tract patentd. in your name; Mr Bell of course in possession of the other—

I have thus Sir, put you in possession of Mrs. Tapscotts views, and wishes in this matter; with no other motive I assure you, than that, of performing a duty, required of me, by the unhappy, and distressed Widow of an old, esteemd and valued friend—Before I conclude, permit me to remark; That I know Mr. Tapscott left funds in Virginia, to pay his part of the purchase which I think I informed you of by letter, some years ago—But from the difficulties he had to encounter; in setling in a new country, on land heavily timbered; he was compelled, contrary to his first intention, to draw on those funds for the immediate support and comfort of his family, consisting of a wife, a son, and four daughters

This prevented your being paid, his half of the purchase money, as soon as collected—

I shall be happy to receive any communication, you may think proper to make, that I may immediately convey it to Mrs. Tapscott—with sentiments of my sincere regard and respect I am yours & C & C.

Car Willis

N B I shall remain here during the Session of the Legislature—

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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