James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Jameson, 25 October 1780

From David Jameson

RC (LC: Rives Collection of Madison Papers).

Richmond Oct 25. 1780

Dr Sir

I recd. your favour without date inclosing the paper of the 10th.1 You will see by the paper inclosed that we are invaded, since the paper went to press we are certainly informed that the Enemy have landed Men on both sides Elizabeth River. they landed with the greatest confidence—did not fire a Gun—were within speech of the people on shore. What you have in the paper is truly the substance of what intelligence we had then received It is said the Cavalry landed at Hampton had penetrated as high as the half way House2 between Hampton & York. I fear they will do much mischief before we can collect a force sufficient to stop their progress[;] however every expedient (in our power) is in motion on both sides Jas River It is more that [than?] probable we shall now severely feel the want of Regular Soldiers of which we have next to none but in name Our affairs in the South wear a better aspect than they did but as the president has letters & papers from the Governor & from G Gates on both subjects I need not enlarge. In my last I told you the Wart. for 300,000 dollars for Georgia was paid to Mr Joseph Gray.3 Our Assembly should have set the 16t., but there are not Members enough of either House to do business.4 We have not £5000. in the Treasury—are we not in a most pityable situation? I am very sincerely

Yr afe. hb St

David Jameson

1JM’s letter is missing. Its date, and that of the newspaper inclosed, was probably 10 October, a post day when he wrote to his correspondents in Virginia. In all likelihood he informed Jameson of much that he had written or would write to Jones and Pendleton on that day (q.v.).

2The “paper” probably was the Virginia Gazette (Richmond, Dixon and Nicolson) of 25 October 1780, which contains a brief notice of the disembarkation of General Leslie’s troops at Newport News and of their occupation of Hampton, Va. The Half-way House was an ordinary in York County on the Hampton-Yorktown-Williamsburg road.

3No earlier letter from Jameson to JM, making mention of Gray, is known to the editors; nor have they found a letter from JM to Jameson inquiring about the Georgia warrant. On 13 October, Congress directed the Board of Treasury to discover to whom the $300,000 granted to Georgia on 12 February 1780 had been paid. On 23 October the Board informed Congress that, via Joseph Gray and John White (escorts employed by the Board of War) and others, the money had reached the treasury of Georgia on 13 May 1780 (Journals of the Continental Congress, XVIII, 920, 966–67).

4On 6 November 1780, the Virginia House of Delegates was finally attended by enough delegates to make a quorum (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 , October 1780, p. 7).

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