To Richard Paterson
March 24th. 1770.
1. Richard Paterson’s mercantile establishment in Princeton, situated on Main Street next to the well-known tavern of Jacob Hyer at the sign of Hudibras, appears to have had an important place in the life of the college. Paterson (d. 1781) was the father of William Paterson, College of New Jersey, ’63, later a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, governor of New Jersey, United States senator, and associate justice of the Supreme Court (Julian P. Boyd, “William Paterson,” in Willard Thorp, ed., Lives of Eighteen from Princeton, pp. 2–3; John Rogers Williams, ed., Philip Vickers Fithian, Journal and Letters, 1767–1774 [Princeton, 1900], p. 39; New Jersey Archives description begins William A. Whitehead et al., eds., Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey (1st ser., 42 vols.; Newark, Trenton, Paterson, 1880–1949). description ends , 1st ser., XXVIII, 423; and John F. Hageman, History of Princeton and Its Institutions, I, 64; II, 81).
2. Adam Hoops (1709–1771) was a prominent Pennsylvania merchant whose business interests ranged widely between the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers. Most probably he and his family had southern connections since a daughter, Sarah, married John Syme, Jr., of Hanover County, Va.; a son, David, was “of Maryland and Virginia”; and another son, Adam, served as an officer of the Maryland line during the Revolution until his capture by the British at the Battle of Camden in August 1780 (“Query on Adam Hoops,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XXXV , 512; New Jersey Archives description begins William A. Whitehead et al., eds., Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey (1st ser., 42 vols.; Newark, Trenton, Paterson, 1880–1949). description ends , 1st ser., XXVIII, 283–84, 452; and F. B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution [Washington, 1893], p. 227). See JM to his father, 23 July 1770, and JM to Bradford, early March 1775, for further instances where members of the Hoops family acted as agents for the Madisons.
3. The identification of “Robert Patterson” and why he should have been in debt to JM (if so) remain in doubt. Probably it was merely coincidental that in 1784 Robert Patterson (1743–1824), professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, joined with its provost, John Ewing, in testifying that Captain Adam Hoops was sufficiently versed in trigonometry, etc., to qualify for appointment as a surveyor of U.S. public lands (NA: PCC, No. 41, IV, 224–26).