James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from the Governor of Virginia, 29 January 1790

From the Governor of Virginia

Richmond January 29th. 1790

Gentlemen

The information required by the inclosed resolution of the General Assembly to be laid before Congress will be forwarded to you by mr. Matthew Anderson a Merchant of Character. I have taken the liberty to address these papers to your care as I supposed there was not a more proper channel through which they could be presented to the View of the fœderal Legislature.1 I should have written upon the same subject to the senators of this State had I not been informed that neither of them would arrive in New York in any short time. I will thank you to acknowledge the receipt of this Letter as soon as it shall arrive.2 I am &c.

Beverley Randolph

FC (Vi: Executive Letter Book). In a clerk’s hand. Addressed “To the Representatives of Virginia in Congress.” Enclosures not found (see n. 1).

1The enclosed resolution of 14 Dec. 1789 directed the governor and council of Virginia to provide Congress with information on the navigation of the Potomac. Among the enclosures was a chart of the Potomac and a printed broadside, which had been sent to Governor Randolph by Thomas Johnson, president of the Potomac Company (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11—, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , XII, 461, 462 n. 1; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , V, 99–100). The broadside, drafted by a committee of Georgetown and Alexandria merchants and dated 7 Dec. 1789, was part of a concerted publicity effort by advocates of a Potomac location for the national capital (Daniel Carroll to JM, 4 Oct. 1789, PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11—, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , XII, 428; Adam Stephen to JM, 3 Mar. 1790 and n. 1). JM’s copy of the broadside, possibly the one sent by Governor Randolph with this letter, is in the Madison collection of printed materials, Rare Book Division, Library of Congress. For a full discussion and reprinting of the broadside, see Donald Sweig, “A Capital on the Potomac: A 1789 Broadside and Alexandria’s Attempts to Capture the Cherished Prize,” VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. description ends , LXXXVII (1979), 74–104.

2Alexander White, writing for the delegation, acknowledged receipt of the letter and its enclosures on 24 Feb. (CVSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , V, 118).

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