James Madison Papers

Expense Account as Delegate in Congress, 20 September 1781

Expense Account as Delegate in Congress

MS (Virginia State Library). JM’s file copy is in LC: Madison Papers. JM’s covering letter, if any, to the Virginia Auditors of Public Accounts has not been found.

From June 20th. to Sepr. 20 1781.
1781 Pena. Cury
July 10 To bills drawn on Mr. R. Morris in my favor by G: Nicholson Agent for Mr. Ross1 Pennsa. Currency
£100.2- -
By balance June 20th. £  -  -  -
Sepr. 20 By Board & Lodging including Liqrs. &C. from June 20 £83-7- -
By Expence of 2 Horses  21 - -
By Washing   6
By allowance for 92 days at——per day3

1Robert Morris, George Nicolson, and David Ross.

2£80 Virginia currency, according to the auditors’ master sheet (Virginia State Library). In a letter of 20 August 1781 to the auditors of Virginia, Joseph Jones mentioned his extreme difficulty in procuring funds in Philadelphia to pay for his rent and food “untill the agent furnished the Bill on Mr. Morris, which being drawn at 56 days required a discount to obtain money.… You will credit my acct if it is not already done for the advances to Mr. Madison and Col. Bland which I presume their accounts rendered will support” (Virginia State Library: Executive Papers). These advances, according to Jones’s expense account dated 20 August, and substantiated by JM’s expense accounts of 27 March and 20 June 1781, amounted to about $35,000, which Jones equated as “£10,436.12” (ibid.).

3As in his expense accounts dated 20 June and 20 December 1781, JM left his per diem salary a blank, even though the Virginia General Assembly had not altered the amount of $20.00 a day provided by a statute of the October 1779 session. As David Jameson would remark in his letter of 9 March 1782 to JM, “the 20 dollars P day,” in view of the depreciation, “was not worth accepting.” In the session of May 1782 the General Assembly would provide for the payment of “all arrears” due to the delegates, at the rate of $8.00 a day in specie (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, 163–64; XI, 12–14, 31–32).

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