Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 6 June 1780

From James Madison

Philadelphia Jun 6th. 1780

Dear Sir

A Vessel from West Florida has brought to the President of Congress intelligence from Govr. Galvez of the surrender of Mobile. No other particulars than that contained in the inclosed paper are mentioned, except the verbal report of the Capt. that the Garrison consisted of about 800 including inhabitants &c. Seven or eight vessels have just arrived from the W. Indies as you will also observe in the inclosed paper but they bring no satisfactory information concerning the late engagements between the two fleets. The Address from the General Assembly was yesterday immediately on its receipt laid before Congress and referred to a special Committee, on whose report it will probably be considered in a committee of the whole. I flatter myself that the arrival of the French Armament which is hourly expected will place our affairs in a less melancholy situation than their apprehensions seem to paint them. There is little doubt but the Conquest of the Southern States was the object of the operation of the present Campain, but I can not think the Enemy will pursue that object at the manifest risk of N. York. It is more probable they will leave a strong Garrison in Charleston, and carry back to N. York. the residue of their forces. If they shou’d endeavour to extend their acquisitions in the Southern States, it must proceed from an Assurance from England that a superior naval force will follow the french fleet to frustrate their views on the American Coast. I cannot suppose that however intent they may have been on taking port at Portsmouth, that they will venture in the present prospect to spread themselves out in so exposed a situation. With great respect & sincerity I am Dr Sir Yr. friend & Servt.,

James Madison Junr

RC (DLC: Madison Papers). Endorsed: “Madison Jas June 6. 1780.” Enclosure missing.

the address from the General Assembly: A memorial to Congress from the General Assembly of Virginia, dated 24 May 1780, concerning defense of the southern states; MS in DLC: PCC, No. 71, i, endorsed by Thomson (in part): “Read June 5. 1780 Referred to Mr Henry Mr Armstrong Mr Holten”; printed in JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , May 1780, 1827 edn., p. 20; see also Burnett, Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress description ends , v, No. 226, note 3.

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