James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from James McClurg, 5 September 1787

From James McClurg

Richmond Septr. 5. 87.

Dear Sir,

I am not surprized to hear that you have been indisposed, at this season, with such a weight of business upon you. I am more surprized that you have been able to persevere in the application, which that business required. I hope you will never take a moment either from that, or from the relaxation which it renders necessary, on account of such a correspondent as myself; who would readily give up the satisfaction he takes in your letters, for the pleasure of hearing that you are in health.

We have just reciev’d here a hand-bill from Norfolk, containing Intelligence from the British resident at Brussells, that a considerable body of french had march’d, from their Flanders frontier, into the United provinces—2 Letters from England accompanying it say, that freights of American bottoms had risen there considerably upon this news.1 A general European War is expected, by which it is supposed, if we can keep clear of it, we shall be very much benefited. But I imagine that before this reaches you you will have more certain & accurate Accts. of this matter. I regret exceedingly that we have not such a government establish’d, as might inspire the Dutch-merchants with a well founded confidence, & induce them to seek here a retreat from the threaten’d storm.

Adonijah Matthews, of whose turbulent attempts I inform’d you, is said to be peaceably lodg’d in the Jail of Green-bryar. This neighbourhood, as well as that of Petersburg, is uncommonly healthy—& there is no account of the usual baneful effects of this season anywhere but at Norfolk. I am, with sincere regard, Dear Sir, Your most obedt. friend & Servt.

Jas. McClurg

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The handbill was an extract from the London Gazette Extraordinary of 22 June 1787. It was printed, without the two accompanying letters, in the Va. Independent Chronicle description begins Virginia Independent Chronicle (Richmond: Augustine Davis, 1786–90). Beginning on 13 May 1789 entitled, Virginia Independent Chronicle, and General Advertiser. description ends of 5 Sept. 1787. The next issue (12 Sept.) printed a letter from a London gentleman denouncing the report of a French invasion of Holland as “a spurious publication, forged by some designing person to effect the price of Stocks for sinister purposes.” See McClurg to JM, 10 Sept. 1787.

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