James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Jameson, 23 February 1782

From David Jameson

RC (LC: Rives Collection of Madison Papers). Docketed by JM at the beginning of the letter, “Jameson D.,” and at the close, “Feby. 23. 1782.”

Richmond Feb 23. 1782

Dr Sir

I am favoured with yours of the 7th. and am very sorry (as you will not under take to join Mr Andrews in the necessary observations for ascertaining the boundary line yourself) to find that you have not succeeded in your endeavours to engage a proper person.1 It is of consequence to be sure to have a person capable of making astronomical observations, but I think it of much more, to have a person well skilled in the Grants, Charters &ca. that have been obtained, And who is from a general knowledge of the subject equal to the task. I wish Mr Page would undertake the business. we had him in contemplation when the first appointment was made, but supposed he could not then conveniently leave his Family, and at that time he had not had the small pox, which disorder he much dreaded. I am told he is now inoculated, and I intend to write to him on the subject2 I imagine you must ere this have recd. my several Letters, acquainting you with the Auditors answer3

Mr Ross is not in Town. I am unable therefore to say what steps have been taken to supply the wants of the Delegates so necessary for their peace and the honour of the State.4

We have not recd. a tittle of News from any quarter since my last I much fear your answer to the Govr. about the Continental Bounty will impede the recruiting business.5 We are about to ask of the good Citizens an advance of their land Tax to enable us to pay the Bounty by Act of Assembly. the circular letter &ca. I will send you in my next. I much fear the people cannot find Specie enough to pay the 9/10 of the land Tax wch by the Revenue Act you will observe is directed to be pd in Specie6 with great regard

I am Dr Sir Your Obedt hb Ser

David Jameson

1Jameson, as lieutenant governor, was probably referring to JM’s letter of 7 February to Governor Harrison (q.v.). The governor was ill and, except on 18 and 22 February, did not attend meetings of the council between the fourteenth and twenty-eighth of that month (Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 45–51). If, on the other hand, JM wrote to Jameson on 7 February, the letter is now missing.

2See Harrison to JM, 19 January 1782, n. 3. Smallpox was rife during the winter of 1782 in the Virginia Tidewater, including Gloucester County, where John Page lived (Calendar of Virginia State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , III, 19, 35, 55, 56; 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, 458).

3Of these “several letters,” the editors have found only the one of ca. 12 January 1782 (q.v.).

5See Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 11 January 1782, and n. 3. By his remark, Jameson makes clear that the delegates had answered this letter. The reply, probably dated ca. 31 January, is now missing, and no mention of it occurs in the journal of the Council of State.

6See Jameson to JM, ca. 12 January 1782, and n. 8. To procure the money necessary for the payment of bounties to recruits, the Governor in Council on 12 February decided to empower “proper persons” in their respective counties “to receive from each of our patriotic Citizens whose zeal may incline them to aid their Country on this important occasion whatever monies they may think proper to advance on account of their Taxes for the current year” (Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 44). In accord with this plan, Governor Harrison drafted a circular letter, predated 1 March, to be sent to the county lieutenants and other prominent individuals. After amending the draft on 28 February, the Council of State directed the public printer to make eighty copies of the letter (ibid., III, 52; McIlwaine, Official Letters description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed., Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia (3 vols.; Richmond, 1926–29). description ends , III, 154–57). See Jameson to JM, 2 March 1782, and n. 3.

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