James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Edmund Pendleton, 26 December 1780

To Edmund Pendleton

RC (LC: Madison Papers).

Philada. Decr. 26. 1780

Dear Sir

I have your favor of the 18th. inst: inclosing another relating to Capt: C. Taylor with a certificate of his situation, to which I shall pay the necessary attention but cannot undertake to predict certain success.1

The Danish Declaration with the step taken in consequence by the Ct. of London mentioned in the inclosed are the chief news of this week.2 There is a report that Arnold is gone up the Sound with 4000 troops towards N. London.3 Wishing you the compliments of the Season

I am Dr Sr. Yours Sincerely

J. Madison Junr.

1Neither Pendleton’s letter nor the “certificate” has been found. “C. Taylor” was probably Craddock Taylor (b. ca. 1754) of Orange County, a ship captain. Taylor evidently had been captured and paroled by the British and Pendleton was interested in effecting his exchange (Pendleton to JM, 5 February 1781; and JM to Pendleton, 13 February 1781). In 1763, JM and Taylor had been fellow students in Donald Robertson’s school (Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XXXIV [1926], 142). By 1783 he had again gone to sea and his name does not reappear in Virginia records (David John Mays, Edmund Pendleton, 1721–1803 [2 vols.; Cambridge, Mass., 1952], II, 206).

2See JM to Pendleton, 7 November 1780, n. 2. The missing inclosure was probably the 19 and 23 December issues of the Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia).

3This was a false rumor since Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and his British troops reached Hampton Roads, Va., four days after the date of this letter. A force under Arnold burned New London, and Groton as well, on 6 September 1781 (Christopher Ward, War of the Revolution, II, 626–28, 868).

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