James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Benjamin Harrison, 16 [December] 1779

To Benjamin Harrison

RC (LC: Madison Papers). The cover sheet bears the notation, “Letter James Madison Ordered to lay on the Clerks table.”

Williamsburg Novr. [December]1 16th. 1779


Being notified that the General Assembly have honoured me with a delegation to serve this commonwealth in general Congress, I beg the favour of you Sir to communicate to them my acceptance thereof,3 and my assurances that as far as fidelity and zeal can supply the place of abilities the interests of my Country shall be punctually promoted.

I have the honor to be with great respect Yr. Most Obt Servt.

James Madison Junr.

1Madison inadvertently wrote “Novr.” The clerk correctly docketed the letter, “Decemr: 16th: 1779.” Pages 397–98 of the manuscript journal of the House of Delegates in the Virginia State Library note on that date: “The Speaker laid before the House a Letter from John Walker Esqr. a member of the Privy Council or Council of State containing his acceptance of the appointment of a Delegates [sic] to represent this Commonwealth to Congress: also a Letter from James Madison junior Esqr. a member of the Privy Council or Council of State to the same effect: which were read and ordered to lie on the table.”

2Speaker of the House of Delegates.

3Why JM, who had declined to have his name put in nomination for appointment as a delegate to Congress in June 1779 (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held At the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The Journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used, unless otherwise noted, is the one in which the journals for 1777–1781 are brought together in one volume, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , May 1779, p. 51), was willing to accept six months later is unknown.

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