James Madison Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Madison, James" AND Period="Confederation Period"
sorted by: date (ascending)
Note: this document has content that may require expanded/print view for best results (icons above right)

Settlement of Accounts with Virginia, [31 December] 1783

Settlement of Accounts with Virginia

FC (LC: Madison Papers). In JM’s hand. Ink faded and some of the writing rendered illegible by water stains. JM’s docket appears to read, “Acct. & Recpts. [?] for 1783 as Delegate to Congs. Jan 84”

J. Madison Junr. in Account with the Commonwealth of Virginia
1783 Dr. Credt
£    S  D   1782 £   S  D 
March 29. To cash recd. of Mr. Jones out of a sum recd. by him for } Decr. 31 By ballance settled 856 8 310
use of the Delegates to Congs. from the Sheriff of N. 50 18 111 1783 By service as Delegate to } 715 —4 11
hampton Congs. from Jany. 1. to
April To do. recd. out of bills of exchange on Inglis & Co. for } Octr. 25. inclusive 298
one thousand dollars & Trumbul & Co. for 666⅔ remitted 100 2 days at 8 drs. per day
by J. Ambler Esqr. for use of the Delegates
To do. recd. out of do. on Jno. Ross & Co. for 1666⅔ } 100 3 By 12 days returning from } 28 16 12
remitted by J. Ambler Esqr. for use of do. Congs at do
May To do. recd. on two bills dated 12 & 14 May 1783 for } 200 4
£100 each on S. Inglis & Co. by D. Cochran in favr. of J. 1609 —8 —313
Ambler Esqr & remitted by Foster Webb in consequence
of warrants issued on my account
To. do recd. out of 2 bills for £500 each on Lacaze & } 697 18 5
Mallet remitted by J. Ambler Esqr. for use of the Delegates
June To do. recd. in 1 bill dated May 12 for £100 drawn by D. } 100 6
Cochran in favr. of J. Ambler Esqr. remitted by W.[?]
in consequence of warrant issued on my acct.
Sepr. 5. To do. recd. out of two bills on Lacaze & Mallet remitted }
by J. Ambler Esqr. for use of the Delegates in consequence 246 15 7
of warrant issued on their[?] acct.
To do. in consequence of warrant issued 100 8
1595 —12 9

1Statement of Receipts, 28 May 1783, and n. 1. Jones was Joseph Jones, a delegate from Virginia in Congress.

2Ibid., and n. 2. Jacquelin Ambler was the treasurer of Virginia. “Trumbul & Co.” was probably William Turnbull and Company of Philadelphia.

4After “May,” at the outset of the entry, JM wrote and deleted “27.” See JM to Randolph, 27 May; Summary of Accounts, 28 May, n. 5; Statement of Receipts, 28 May, n. 5. For Foster Webb, Jr., see Ambler to JM, 17 May 1783, n. 3.

6Statement of Receipts, 28 May, and n. 5; Ambler to JM, 1 June. “W.” [?] probably signifies Foster Webb, Jr. (JM to Randolph, 3 June 1783).

9JM evidently rounded off the exact total of £1,595 11s. 11d.

11In his Summary of Accounts, 28 May (q.v., and n. 2), JM claimed per diem pay of $8.00, as stipulated by law, for 140 days from 31 December 1782 to 28 May 1783 (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (7 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 19, n. 4). The “298 days” obviously includes the 140—thus leaving 158 for the period 29 May to 2 November (not “Octr. 25.”) when his term as a delegate expired. During those 158 calendar days, Congress convened on 109, including four (6 June, 31 July, 22 August, and 12 September) unnoted in the journal but recorded by Charles Thomson in his committee book (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 368–528, passim; XXV, 529–794, passim; NA: PCC, No. 186, fols. 106, 115, 119, 123). In his financial account of 28 May, JM was careful not to charge for the days when he was absent from Congress (Summary of Accounts, 28 May 1783, and n. 2). In the present statement he claimed $8.00 for every calendar day after 28 May, even though, among the 109, he was not in attendance on about 52—one in June, ten in July, sixteen in August, nine in September, fifteen in October, and one in November. In every instance when he was not present, he appears to have been engaged in work or other pursuits unconnected with his duties as a delegate (Hamilton to JM, 29 June, ed. n.; JM to Randolph, 30 June, and n. 4; 8 July, and n. 2; 15 July, and n. 7; 21 July; 5 Aug., and n. 4; 24 Aug.; 13 Oct.; to Jefferson, 17 July, and n. 14; Motion in re Armed Vessels, 28 July, ed. n.; Delegates to Harrison, 1 Aug., and n. 1; 23 Aug., n. 7; Mercer to JM, 14 Aug., and n. 9; JM to James Madison, Sr., 8 Sept. 1783).

The result of multiplying 298 by $8 and dividing the outcome by 3⅓ to change the dollars into pounds is £715 2s. rather than £714 4s.

12JM had also taken twelve days in March 1780 to travel from his home to Philadelphia (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (7 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 3, and n. 1; JM to Jefferson, 10 Dec. 1783, and n. 1). The result of multiplying 12 by $8 and dividing the outcome by 3⅓ is £28 8s., rather than £28 16s. JM charged for only those days he actually traveled and did not count those days when he broke his trip. His return to Montpelier actually took fourteen days.

13When JM received the small balance due him is not known. In the Virginia State Library is a memorandum, or perhaps a docket, in Jacquelin Ambler’s hand, reading: “July 21st. 1784. Bills drawn by the Honble Jas Madison & A L. Delegates to Congs. Mr. Madison & Mr Walker £40 ea:.” From what Virginia owed him as a delegate in Congress, Jefferson may have partially discharged the loan to him of October 1783 from JM by authorizing Ambler to pay £40 to JM (JM to Jefferson, 10 Dec. 1783, n. 24; Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (18 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , VII, 234, 243–44). “Mr Walker” may have received the £40 on behalf of Arthur Lee.

During his final four months of service as a delegate, JM was clearly less embarrassed financially than in any earlier period of similar length since he had entered Congress. Between March and June he was paid about £1,249 (ca. $4,163) by Virginia, and received £346 15s. (ca. $1,155.75) more from the same source in September. To this probably was added an unknown amount gained from disposing of his slave Billey (JM to James Madison, Sr., 8 Sept., and n. 4). From these funds he paid whatever debt he may still have owed Haym Salomon, met the cost of room and board in Philadelphia and of his food and the expensive room he shared with Joseph Jones in Princeton, loaned John Francis Mercer at least $600, and Thomas Jefferson, $503 (Ambler to JM, 5 July, and n. 5; Mercer to JM, 14 Aug.; Receipt of Mercer, 11 Oct., and n. 1; JM to Randolph, 13 Oct.; to Jefferson 10 Dec. 1783, n. 24). How much money JM may have had in pocket upon his arrival early in December at Montpelier is not known, but probably it was not a large sum.

Index Entries