James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Pendleton, 4 December 1780

From Edmund Pendleton

Tr (LC: Force Transcripts).

Virga. Decemr 4th 1780

Dr Sir

Since my last I am indebted for yr two favrs of the 14th & 21st past. Every thing wears the Appearance of confirming the Intention of the Enemy to make a Winter campaign to the Southward; The Fleet who lately left us it is said divided off the Capes part steering Eastward the Others to the South. if those & the late Embarkation from New York1 should meet at Charles Town I fear that with the Army already there, they will recover the ground they have lost by the Spirited affair at King’s Mountain, & revive the Rapidity of their progress through that State.

Our Militia are returned sickly & murmuring at the treatment they met with below, from forced Marches & too Strict Attention to Order, not being allowed to break their Ranks, tho’ to avoid Deep Ponds of water or to drink; this brought on Pleurisies, & the death of 8 from this County2 that I have heard of, besides many yet in danger; I fear it will have bad effects on the recruiting Service, besides the loss of some good men.

Our Assembly have made all paper money Issued or to be issued, a legal tender in Payment of all Debts. The Specific Negroe & Plate taxes are given up & we are to pay £80 P Ct on the Late Specie Valuation, in January, as a fund for raising the Soldiers at £5000 a man for 3 years service (for I understand they have no hopes of Raising them for the War) tho’ I hope that term will exceed the other Indefinite one.3 Mr Blair succeeds Mr Nicholas in the Chancery, & Mr Fleming goes into the General Court. Yr Colleague in the room of Mr Henry is not yet chosen.4 I am Dr Sr

Yr mo. affe

Edmd Pendleton.

2Caroline County (Pendleton to JM, 11 December 1780).

3See Jones to JM, 18 November, nn. 6 and 7, and 2 December 1780. Pendleton evidently meant a tax of £80 in paper currency on each £100 of property valuation in terms of specie. At the 1 for 40 rate (“the Late Specie Valuation”), £100 in specie is equivalent to £4,000 paper. Two per cent of £4,000 is £80.

4See Jones to JM, 24 November, n. 8, and 2 December 1780, n. 8.

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