James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Dawson, 13 April 1790

From John Dawson

Fredksburg April 13. 90

Dear Sir!

Accept my thanks for your letter of the 20th. uto.1 which I have recievd.

By the death of our very worthy friend Colo Grayson it became the duty of the Executive to appoint some person to fill the vacancy in the Senate. Application was made to Mr. Henry and on his refusal to serve Colo Mason was unanimously appointed—he also declind and then Mr. John Walker was chosen—who I presume will be in New York before you recieve this, as he passd this place two or three days ago. Whether this appointment will be confirmd by the legislature I leave you to determine, but I find it generally disapprovd of by those whom I have seen.2 Willis is again elected for this county with Mr. F. Thornton junr.3—Buchanan & Daniel for Stafford4—Taliaferro & Ben: Johnston for K. George5—Wilkenson & Selden for Henrico,6 & New & U [p] shaw for Caroline.7

We have no account of the final determination of Congress on the assumption of the state debts. The plan is universally reprobated in this state, & shoud it be adopted I expect it will draw some very spirited Resolutions from the next assembly, as it is thought a wanton interferrence of Congress and an attempt to hasten a consolidation. Colo Blands vote has raisd an opposition to him in his district which I am told will succeed.

St. George Tucker & Mr. Jones set out on the 9h: on their western circuit. They are to visit Morgan town & Winchester.8 You have, no doubt, heard of the death of young Richie & the acquital of Glassell. With much respect & esteem, Your friend & Sert

J Dawson

RC (DLC).

1Letter not found.

2Jefferson wrote William Short on 27 Apr. that Walker’s appointment “was carried … against Monroe by a majority of a single vote in Council. Many think he may be dropped by the assembly.” At its October 1790 meeting the General Assembly elected Monroe to the Senate. He took his seat on 6 Dec. (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (19 vols. to date; Princeton, 1950—). description ends , XVI, 387; XVII, 607; DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America (3 vols. to date; Baltimore, 1972—). description ends , I, 495).

3The Spotsylvania delegates were John Whitaker Willis (d. 1802) and Francis Thornton, Jr. (ca. 1767–1836). Thornton married Sally Innes, daughter of Harry Innes, and represented Spotsylvania in the House of Delegates, 1790–1792 (Tyler’s Quarterly description begins Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine. description ends , III [1921–22], 185; Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 34, 437; Edward C. Carter, ed., The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe [2 vols.; New Haven, 1977], II, 556).

4Andrew Buchanan, a member of the 1788 ratifying convention, served in the House of Delegates, 1786–1790 and 1795. Travers Daniel, Jr. (b. 1763), brother of future Supreme Court justice Peter V. Daniel, married Mildred Stone in 1791. He represented his county in the House of Delegates, 1790–1793 (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 353, 366; Hayden, Virginia Genealogies, p. 307).

5The King George delegates were John Taliaferro, Sr., who represented the county in 1778 and 1789–1793, and Benjamin Johnson, who served only one term (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 33, 392, 434).

6Nathaniel Wilkinson (d. 1807) had been a Henrico delegate since 1776. Miles Selden (d. 1811) married Elizabeth Armistead. He frequently represented his county between 1782 and 1810 (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 427, 445; WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly. description ends , 1st ser., VI [1897–98], 235; Richmond Enquirer, 24 May 1811).

7Anthony New (d. 1833), a militia colonel during the Revolution, served as a Caroline delegate in the General Assembly, 1785–1790. James Upshaw (1730–1806) had also represented the county in 1778 and 1789 (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 411, 440; Heitman, Historical Register Continental description begins F. B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution (Washington, 1914). description ends , p. 412; Richmond Enquirer, 22 July 1806).

8St. George Tucker and Joseph Jones were state district court judges.

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