James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Jameson, 16 August 1780

From David Jameson

RC (LC: Rives Collection of Madison Papers).

Richmond Aug 16th. 1780

Dr Sir

I wrote to you the 12t. or 13t. by a private hand, since which I am favoured with yours of the 1st.1 I acquainted you with the reason of my silence for sometime past and mentioned to you that the £20,000 for which I had taken out a wart. was sent by Col Bland for the Virga Delegates By a letter from the French Minister to the Govr. I find reason to expect that Court will give us further aid.2 I am sorry the whole force intended for No. America had not come out at the same time. I fear the British are so reinforced as to prevent the Ships at Rhode Island doing us the service we hoped and should a few Ships be sent from France they may be intercepted by Greaves3

The two Millions now making is paid away as fast as it is Signed—was the whole now done it would not carry us beyond the end of this month. Much of it goes for Continental purposes.4 What we are to do when this is gone I really do not know. I think we shall be in a miserable situation, for I believe most of the tax to be collected in next Month, will be paid off by Certificates given for Waggons, Horses, provs. Rum, Salt &c &c &c impressed and siezed5

By Letters from our Southern Army (on Pee dee) under date from the 3d to the 8t. Inst. We are informed that the Enemy have evacuated their posts on Pee dee, & Lynch’s Creek and were retreating to Cambden Col Armand & Col Porterfield hung on their Rear—had taken some of their Sick, two Waggons & Teams, and a large Medicine Chest. It is supposed Ld. Cornwallis is gone to Savanah, that Ld Rawden commands at their princ. post Cambden, and that he has there no very considerable force6

Have you recd. quantities of Clothing through the Interest of Mr Gerard? I believe I did not tell you we some time ago entered into Contract with Mr Francy. He is to furnish us with Clothing &c &c. against the next Spring at 7/. Sterl for Tobo. deld. here*7

I am Dr Sir Yr afft. hb. Sert

David Jameson

1Not found.

2The present whereabouts of the letter of 27 July 1780 by the French minister, Chevalier de La Luzerne, to Jefferson is unknown (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (16 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , III, 578).

3Admiral Thomas Graves (1725–1802). See Report of Board of Admiralty, 26 May 1780, n. 2.

5In other words, the tax, instead of bringing in much money, would largely be paid in promissory notes issued previously by the state government to citizens who had been obliged to yield up their property for military use.

6Jameson evidently knew not only of General Horatio Gates’s letter of 3 August (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (16 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , III, 524–25), but also of a later dispatch or dispatches not known to the editors. Colonel Charles Armand, Marquis de La Rouërie (1756–1793), commanded the Pulaski Legion, the first to be assailed by the British at the Battle of Camden, S.C. Lord Rawdon (Francis Rawdon-Hastings [1754–1826]), at the head of the British troops centered in that town, was faced by Gates with about 3,050 men fit for duty. On 6 August, Rawdon withdrew from his position on Lynch’s Creek. Shortly thereafter, reinforcements raised his force to about 2,300 men, and Lord Cornwallis (1738–1805) arrived from Charleston to take over their command. On the day that Jameson wrote this letter, Cornwallis severely defeated Gates in the Battle of Camden. In this engagement, Colonel Charles Porterfield was mortally wounded.

7The Continental Congress had reason to expect that, upon his return to France, Conrad Alexandre Gérard, the first minister from that country to the United States, would use his influence to expedite the shipment of military supplies to the patriot army, to encourage more trade between the merchants of the two countries, and to effect additional loans of money from the French crown. Although Gerard left the United States on 18 October 1779, his virtual shipwreck at sea (JM to Page, 8 May 1780, n. 6) and further delay in Spain held up his arrival at Versailles until late in February 1780 (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1931–44). description ends , XVIII, 24; John J. Meng, ed., Despatches and Instructions of Conrad Alexandre Gérard, 1778–1780 [Baltimore, 1939], pp. 120, 905–8). The business transactions in Virginia of Jean Baptiste Lazarus Théveneau de Francy (d. 1783), agent of Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in his efforts to assist the patriot cause with money and goods from France, began in 1778 during the governorship of Patrick Henry. De Francy claimed that he had delivered supplies worth more than the value of the tobacco he had received for them. Jameson’s reference is to a new agreement made between Governor Jefferson and de Francy on 11 May 1780 (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (16 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , III, 372–73).

8That is, seven shillings per hundredweight of tobacco, with a livre equated as 10½ pence.

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

* he is to deliver the Goods here free of cost or damage & receive Tobo. in payment on their arrival at 7/ Sterl. PCt—Livre 10½d Sterl.8

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