Expense Account as Delegate in Congress
[25 September 1780]
|Dr.||James Madison Junr. in account with the Commo[n]wealth of Virginia||Cr.|
|December||To cash received from the Treasury of Virginia.||6666⅔||March 20||By ferriages in travelling to Philadelphia||122|
|By allowance of 2 dollars per mile for do5||520|
|To the moity of a draught on the Auditors for 30,000 dollars in favor of S. C. Morris1 by C. Griffin & J. Madison Jr.||15000||By expences in Philadelphia prior to fixed lodgings||320⅔|
|By expence of boarding from 20 of March to 20 of Septemr||21373⅔|
|June 23||To cash received from the Continental Treasury on warrant from Congress dated April 122 for 15 000 dollars in favor of C. Griffin and J. Madison Junr., the remainder of the moity being received by Mr. J. Walker||2500||By incidental expences for liquors sugar fruit not included in board||2459|
|By expence of 3 horses from 20 of March to 30 of June and of 2 to the 20 of September at the continental Stables||6034|
|June||To one third of a draught on the Auditors for 23312 dollars by Jos: Jones Jas. Henry & J. Madison Junr. in favor of Col. Balard negociated by Levi Hollingsworth3||7770⅔||By extra expences for do. during a scarcity of forage there||577|
|By expence for washing||1776|
|By expence to Barber||1020|
|Augst. 30||To one fourth of a draught on the Auditors for £20 000 Virginia currency by Jos: Jones, J. Madison Junr, and John Walker, received from Theo: Bland Junr||16666⅔4||By expence in wood6||605|
|Sepr. 20||By allowance of 20 drs. per day for attendance at Congress from the 20 of March to the 20 of Sepr. being 183 days7||3660|
|June 15||By cash advanced to an Express returning to Virginia||175|
|Philada. Sepr. 20. 17808||E E9|
|J. Madison Junr.|
1. Samuel Cadwalader Morris (1743–1820), a leading patriot and merchant of Philadelphia.
2. The authorization by Congress was on 10 April 1780 (Journals of the Continental Congress, XVI, 343; NA: PCC, No. 136, III, 175).
3. “Col. Balard” was probably Colonel Robert Ballard (ca. 1742–ca. 1803) of Mecklenburg County and of the 4th Virginia Regiment. Late in the Revolution, or shortly after its close, he moved to Baltimore, Md. Levi Hollingsworth (1739–1824) of Philadelphia was a well-known merchant and speculator. John Walker evidently did the negotiating with Hollingsworth (Walker to Jefferson, 13 June 1780, in 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, 441).
4. Multiplying £20,000 by 3.33 and dividing the result by four equals the $16,666⅔ (Virginia Delegates to Auditors, 11 September 1780, n. 4).
5. In December 1779 the Virginia legislature fixed the salary of delegates at $20.00 a day, their travel allowance at $2.00 a mile plus ferry costs, and guaranteed to reimburse each delegate for the living costs of himself and family at Philadelphia, including his expenses for rent, fuel, food, and a maximum of three servants and four horses (Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , X, 163).
6. JM’s consolidated expense sheets for 1779–1782, mentioned in the headnote, state that the amount of wood was two cords.
7. Above, n. 5.
8. On their ledger sheets mentioned in the headnote, the auditors not only divided each of the sums listed by JM by 3.33, in order to arrive at the value in Virginian rather than continental paper currency, but also reduced the latter to its specie equivalent by applying a depreciation ratio. Thus between December 1779 and June 1780 this ratio was 62 for 1. By August of that year it had grown to 75 for 1.
9. Probably stands for “Errors Excepted,” an expression sometimes found at the close of the accounts of other delegates. The law, mentioned in n. 5, required the delegates to submit only “a general account of all their disbursements” and apparently did not oblige them to file supporting receipts.