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    • Bradford, William
    • Madison, James

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FC (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). The RC is not known to exist. Given below is the text of the first letter copied by William Bradford in his commonplace book. On page 1 of this notebook he wrote, “Letters to and From Mr. James Maddison jr. From October the seventh 1772 to July 28th … 1775 inclusive.” Unaccountably, Bradford misdated the present letter “October 7th 1773.” JM’s reply of...
You moralize so prettily that if I were to judge from some parts of your letter of October 13 I should take you for an old Philosopher that had experienced the emptiness of Earthly Happiness. And I am very glad that you have so early seen through the romantic paintings with which the World is sometimes set off by the sprightly imaginations of the Ingenious. You have happily supplied by reading...
You will pardon me for not writing sooner when I inform you that ever since I received your agreeable letter I have [been] roving from place to place without being able to find time to answer it. But I need make no apology, as I know your Goodness will excuse me without one. Puntuality [in] answering a letter is what Pope justly call[s] the ceremonial part of friendship which those who have a...
I received your Letter dated March the 1st. about a Week ago and It is not more to obey your demands, than to fulfill my own desires that I give you this early answer. I am glad you disclaim all punctiliousness in our correspondence. For my own part I confess I have not the face to perform ceremony in person and I equally detest it on paper though as Tully says It cannot blush. Friendship like...
Tis with pleasure I find myself able to give you ample information concerning your Nassovian Friends, many of whom are now in town attending the Synod. Mr. Ervin has been sometime licensed & I hear is very popular in the back parts of Pennsylvania. He has lately commenced a strict Cadoganite; yet [in] spite of Cadogan his health is much impaired and he seems to be in the first stage of a...
I had the pleasure of Mr Wallace’s Company & your letter on Tuesday last. He left me to Day but not without requesting me to make mention of his kind remembrance of you when I should write to you. He professes a warm affection for you and you know the sincerity of his professions. I am much obliged to you for your information concerning my friends. I received a Line or two with yours from Mrss...
I have just returned here from Philada where I have been this week past in a constant hurry occasioned by the marriage of a Sister. I now sit down to answer your agreeable Letter which I could not do sooner altho I greatly desired it; but I hope you will not follow a bad example but reprove my long delay by an early answer; for as I expect soon to determine what profession I shall engage in...
If I did not love you too well to scold at you I should begin this with upbraiding your long silence contrary to your express promise and my earnest Solicitations. The Bundle of Pamplets you sent by the Post has miscarried[.] I would not trouble you with sending them again but perhaps if you would enquire of the Post they might still be discovered. I expect this will be handed to you by Mr....
I was on the point of expostulating with you for you[r] long silence when I receiv’d your[s] of Sept 6 by the hands of our worthy friend mr Ervin. I am surprized & chagrined to find you have not received a letter I wrote about six weeks ago. You may remember you promised to give me you[r] sentiments about my employing my talents provided I explained myself more fully upon that head. Eager to...
I received yours of the 12 August and give you this repeated Testimony of my punctuality. I got your letter to Mr Wallace at the same time much worn and abused. I have given it a new coat & shall forward it as soon as a safe Opportunity serves. Since you first hinted to me your suspence as to the settled business of your life, I have partook of your anxiety & [though it] has been often in my...
Your last reached me in a very happy time as I was on the point of determining what profession I would choose & absolutely fixing my choice which had long been wavering between law & trade! As your sentiments coincided with those of my [other] friends I have begun the study of the law
I have had the gratification of receiving both your letters, and the Pamphlets sent by Wilkinson. It is a reflection I am naturally led into whenever I write to you that I always have occasion to be returning my thanks for some kindness received without being able to retaliate. Gratitude is the only fund I can pay you out of which I am sensible your generosity accepts as sufficient: but at the...
The gratefull manner in which you mention the few trifles I sent you gives me a most sensible pleasure as it [is] a new proof of you[r] friendship. Beleive me my freind I esteem it [a] favor that you put it in my power to oblige; & therefore the best way of showing your gratitude will be to command me freely when I have it in my power to serve you. I am glad to hear you intend to cultivate an...
Yours of the 25 of last month came into my hands a few days past. It gave singular pleasure not only because of the kindness expressed in it but because I had reason to apprehend the letter you recd. last from me had miscarried and I should fail in procuring the intelligence I wanted before the Trip I design in the Spring. I congratulate you on your heroic proceedings in Philada. with regard...
I purposely delayed answering yours of January 24th to this time that I might be better able to give you the Intelligence you wanted. I hope however it will reach you before you set out and perhaps time enough to be answered. I agree with you that a Student of Law should not to[o] much indulge his taste for polite-Learning as it has a tendency to make the mind averse to severer Studies. Yet...
I have another favour to acknowledge in the receipt of your kind Letter of March the 4th. I did not intend to have written again to you before I obtained a nearer communication with you but you have too much interest in my inclinations ever to be denied a request. Mr. Brackenridge’s illness gives me great uneasiness: I think he would be a loss to America: His merit is rated so high by me that...
I am once more got into my native land and into the possession of my customary enjoyments Solitude and Contemplation, though I must confess not a little disturbed by the sound of War blood and plunder on the one Hand and the Threats of Slavery and Oppression on the Other. From the best accounts I can obtain from our Frontiers The Savages are determined in the extirpation of the Inhabitants,...
I am sorry to find your letter confirms the accounts we have received of the depredations of the Indians; which I hope was a slight & private quarrell with Cressop & others; for such accounts as these generally increase in horror as the distance increases. I am apprehensive the death of Sir William Johnston (of which you must undoubtedly have heard[) will] be attended with disagreeable...
The receipt of your’s of the first inst. was peculiarly acceptable to me; the enjoyment of your Company at Philada. has so revived & increased my pristine Affection for you, that I found great pleasure in that token of you[r] Affectionate Kindness. And tho’ it is with the utmost chearfulness I emancipate you from the bondage of a punctual correspondence yet I find I cannot do without an...
My silence has been long & perhaps you will tell me unkind; but I plead your release from strict pu[n]ctuality in bar to any reproofs of that sort: And do not think that I plead this because I [have] no better plea: but because It would take up more time than I can spare to tell you all the causes of my silence: yet they may be comprehended in two word[s] Sickness & Business. But tho they...
The pamphlets & letters you sent me were safely delivered about ten days after the date of them. I esteem it a singular favor that you should be so thoughtfull of obliging me at a time when your attention must necessarally have been employed on many more important considerations. Your readiness also to serve me on any future occasion demands my acknowledgments. I have no acquaintance in...
Agreeable to your request I waited on Mr Dunlap & stopd your paper [?] ours now follows [?] [ Got Ferguson at Bell’s and will send it as soon as possible etc] With regard to the Complaints of New-England Baptist I can learn nothing. I believe there was none. I suppose you have by this time read the Journal of the Congress by which you will see the Secresy was one of their first resolves; they...
Your very acceptable favours by Mr. Rutherford arrived safe but I perceived by the date, had a very tedious passage which perhaps may be attributed to the craziness of the Vessel in which you embarked them. I ought to mention in particular that I did not receive them till after I wrote my last as an apology for my not then acknowledging it I entirely acquiesce in your Opinion of our friend...
I intend to throw this in the way of Mr David Hoopes who I hear is setting out for Philada. As it is uncertain whether he may get it I shall only return a short answer to yours of Jany 4th. [Mr Dunlap’s mistake about price of his paper—the 2 Vol. of Papers too dear & vide lit.] We had a report here a few days [ago] that the New Yorkers had again given way & that the assembly had voted the...
I would have answered your most acceptable epistle of the 20 Jany had not the conclusion given me hopes of “eer long hearing from you again.” You must have received a letter I wrote in the beginning of Jany. soon after you dispatched your last unless it be as long on its Voyage as the one I sent by Rutherford was. I thank you for Logan’s speech. I admire the nervous & untutor’d eloquence of...
This I expect will be delivered to you by the Revd. Mr Samuel Smith who will inform you of every thing respecting our affairs that I could let you know by Letter. I wrote to you very lately by Mr David Hoops in answer to yours contain[in]g a few lines from Mr Irvin. If it should fail of coming to you it will be proper I should know of it because I there mentioned what I desired as to Dunlap &...
Though the business that at present surrounds me on every side, makes writing inconvenient, yet I cannot let Mr. Hoops return without a few Lines to one I value so much. [Mr Dunlap’s paper &c] I send with this Furguson which I could not get for less than 12/ tho’ you will perceive it is somewhat soil’d. I also send the friendly address &c. & The other side of the Question. I dare not add more...
I this day received your favor by Mr Hoopes but have not yet got the articles I find came along with it. Mr Hoopes lives at no very great distance so that I shall not be long without them. We have lately had a great alarm here about the Governor’s removing a large quantity of powder from our magazine and conveying it on board a ship of war: Not less [than] 600 men well armed and mounted...
I have two of your epistolary favours to acknowledge[,] the one handed to me by the Revd Mr Smith, some time ago & the other since by Patrick Henry Esqr. I also received 22/6. & as it exceeds what Ferguson &c Cost I shall consider you as the Cestui que Use of the surplus. I have but little to tell you of the Congress; they keep their proceeding so secret that scarce any thing transpires but...
I received another acceptable pledge of your friendship two days ago in a letter dated June 2d. and, as usual, must begin this by discharging a debt of Gratitude to which the further accounts I have of your friendly services and intentions intitle you. I hope I have an inexhaustible fund of that however destitute I may be of other virtues. But I assure you I am often grieved at reflecting that...