Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 6 July 1791

To James Madison

Philadelphia July 6. 1791.

Dear Sir

I have duly recieved your favours of June 27. and July 1. The last came only this morning. I now return Colo. Smith’s map with my acknolegements for the pamphlet and sight of the map.—I inclose you a 60. Dollar bill, and beg the favor of you to remit 30. Dollars with the inclosed letter to Prince, also, as I see Maple sugar, grained, advertised for sale at New York in boxes of 400 ?. each, if they can be induced to sell 100 ?. only and to pack and send it to Richmond, I will thank you to get it done for me. The box to be directed to me ‘to the care of James Brown, merchant Richmd. to be forwarded to Monticello.’ You see I presume on your having got over your indisposition; if not, I beg you to let all this matter rest till you are. Colo. Harry Lee thinks of going on tomorrow, to accompany you to Portsmouth, but he was not quite decided when I saw him last. The President arrived about 10. minutes ago, but I have not yet seem him.—I recieved safely the packet by Capt. Sims. The Guinea corn is new to me, and shall be taken care of. My African upland rice is flourishing. I inclose you a paper estimating the shares of the bank as far as was known three days before it opened. When it opened 24,600 subscriptions were offered, being 4,600 more than could be recieved, and many persons left in the lurch, among these Robt. Morris and Fitzsimmons. They accuse the Directors of a misdeal, and the former proposes to sue them, the latter to haul them up before Congress. Every 25 dollars actually deposited, sold yesterday for from 40. to 50. dollars with the future rights and burthens annexed to the deposit. We have no authentic news from Europe since the last packet. Adieu my dear Sir, take care of yourself and let me hear soon that you are quite re-established. Your’s affectionately,

Th: Jefferson

P.S. If you leave N. York, will you leave directions with Mr. Elsworth to forward to me the two parcels of Maple seed, and that of the Birch bark respectively as they arrive. The last I think had better come by water.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); addressed: “James Madison esquire at Mr. Elsworth’s Maiden lane New-York”; postmarked “7 iv” and “free”; franked. PrC (DLC). Enclosures: (1) TJ to Prince, July 6, 1791. (2) Memorandum showing distribution of subscriptions to “The capital stock of the bank, ten millions of dollars, divided into 25,000 shares,” as follows: “to be subscribed by the President [on behalf of the United States], 5,000 shares; already subscribed, Boston, 4,000; already subscribed, New York, 6,400; will be subscribed by Philada. 5,000; already subscribed, Baltimore, 2,400; already subscribed, Charleston, 700,” totalling 23,500 shares, with 1,500 remaining to be subscribed (undated memorandum in Remsen’s hand, with TJ’s recapitulation on verso balancing the 10,400 subscriptions in Boston and New York against the 8,100 in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston, with the government’s subscription and the unsubscribed remainder in the middle of the geographical equation; MS in DLC: Madison Papers). The act of 22 Feb. 1791 incorporating the Bank of the United States provided that the capital stock should amount to $10 million divided into 25,000 shares at $400 each and that subscriptions should be opened in Philadelphia on 1 Apr. 1791. The President was authorized to subscribe within eighteen months for not more than $2 million, or one-fifth of the total number of shares. The supplementary act of 2 Mch. 1791 provided that subscriptions should not be opened until 1 July 1791; that no one, except on behalf of the government, could subscribe for more than thirty shares—a drastic reduction from the limit of one thousand shares originally stipulated; and that, while the payment of three fourths in public securities was deferred until Jan. 1792, the one-fourth in specie had to be paid at the time of subscribing.

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