James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Edmund Pendleton, 11 December 1781

To Edmund Pendleton

RC (LC: Madison Papers). The cover is missing, but Pendleton docketed the letter, “James Madison Esqr. Decr. 11. 1781.”

Dr. 11th. 17811

Dr Sir

I am favored with yours of the 3d. instant. Other letters by the same conveyance confirm your report of the election of Mr. Harrison to the chief Magistracy.2 Several other appointments are mentioned which I make no doubt are all well known to you.3

On whatever side Mr. Deanes letters are viewed they present mysteries. Whether they be supposed genuine or spurious or a mixture of both, difficulties which cannot well be answered may be started. There are however passages in some of them which can scarcely be imputed to any other hand. But it is unnecessary to rely on these publications for the real character of the man. There is evidence of his obliquity which has for a considerable time been conclusive.4

Congress have not resumed their proceedings on the Western business.5 They have agreed on a requisition on the States for 8,000,000 of Dollars & a completion of their lines according to the last establishment of the army. We endeavored, tho’ with very little effect to obtain deductions in the first article from the quota of Virginia but we did not oppose the aggregate of the demand in either.6 If we do not obtain a sufficiency of men & money from the States by regular & duly apportioned calls we know by experience that the burden of the war will fall on the resources of the States wch. happen to be the subject of it.

Mr. Moore7 late Vice Presidt. has been elected Presidt. of this State, in place of Mr. Reed whose period of eligibility was out.

I am &c. &c.

J: Madison Jr.

1This date line appears to have been added by someone other than JM or Pendleton.

3On 30 November 1781 the Virginia General Assembly elected Beverley Randolph, Thomas Lomax, Sampson Mathews, and St. George Tucker to the Council of State; Thomas Jefferson to replace John Blair, who had resigned as a delegate to Congress; James Mercer as a judge of the General Court; and John Boush as a public auditor (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia, March 1781 Session in Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, XVII, No. 1 (January 1928). description ends , October 1781, pp. 22–24; Credentials as Delegate, 14 June 1781, n. 2).

6See Virginia Delegates to Nelson, 7 November 1781, n. 2. For Edmund Randolph’s unsuccessful attempt in Virginia’s interest to modify the terms of the financial requisition, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXI, 1091–92. For the troop quotas, see JM to Pendleton, 27 November 1781, n. 3.

7See Pendleton to JM, 3 December 1781, n. 10. William Moore (ca. 1735–1793) of Moore Hall, near Valley Forge, was appointed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to the Committee of Safety of the state in December 1776, to the Board of War three months later, and to the Supreme Executive Council in 1779. In 1783, following his term as president of the Supreme Executive Council, he became a judge of the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Pennsylvania and served during the next year in the General Assembly. After the Revolution he was also a director of the Bank of Pennsylvania and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. His only daughter on 17 June 1784 married François, Marquis de Barbé-Marbois (Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, IX [1885], 279 n.; XXVI [1902], 341–42; Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXVII, 425, n. 66).

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