James Madison Papers

John H. Lee to James Madison, 23 April 1831

Daviess County Apl 23rd 1831

Dear Sir

Your letter of January the 1st was not recd until the 15th of Feby, owing I presume to the extreme inclemency of the weather immediately after I had an interview with Mrs Bell & Mrs T. & proposed to deed them 200 acres of Land of a medium value, out of one of the Tracts, if they would withdraw their defence; This proposition only excited the anger of Mrs Tapscott, & after having recd more abuse than I ever heard poured forth from a Female tongue, I succeeded in prevailing with the Ladies to go with me to Town and consult their Attorney on the subject; he stated to them, if he should make no mistake in the business, he could probably sustain them in possession 8 or 10 year, but should he not manage the Suit correctly a Decree might go against them in 12 or 18 months; they still declined acceding to my proposition, & made a variety of proposals, to all of which I disagreed; I then proposed (with an express declaration that I would listen to no further communications from them) that in addition to the 200 acres I would give them the usufruct of the Land the present year if they would withdraw their Bills & Cross Bills; they asked time to consider, & on the 1st of Apl entered in to writing to that effect: The chancellor upon a withdrawal of defence entered up an Interlocutory Decree, in which I am appointed commissioner to sell the Land at three months Credit if the Defendants fail to make payment by July Term of our Court; I shall examine the Land immediately, & ascertain in what manner it can best be divided, having no doubt it will be to your advantage to purchase the Land at the sale, & sell it in such quantities as purchasers may require. You will observe we now lose the compleat controul of the business, I therefore hope for the expression of your wishes as to the future management of it Accept the tender of my best wishes

John H Lee


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